By G9ija

Gerard Pique could be hit with up to a 12-match ban for claiming referees in Spain are likely to favour Real Madrid.

The Barcelona centre-back is being investigated by the Spanish FA having previously said on YouTube show Post United that if the vast majority of LaLiga referees supported Real, they would naturally be partial to that team when refereeing their games.

He was speaking off the back of comments former referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez, who believes many of the referees in LaLiga are Real supporters.

And The Integrity Department of the Spanish FA’s Competition Committee are now actively investigating the comments, according to Marca.

Pique could be fined a small amount between £525 and £2600 but also be slapped with a ban of between four and 12 matches.

The comments that have put him in jeopardy were: ‘The other day a former referee said that 85% of the referees favour Real Madrid. How are they not going to whistle in favour of Real Madrid?

‘Even unconsciously, how are they not going to give more decisions to give more decisions to one side than the other?

‘And I respect the professionalism of the referees and I know they try to do their best job, but when a moment of doubt comes…’

Last campaign Barcelona received 83 bookings and six red cards with Real were shown 72 yellow cards and saw four players dismissed.

Pique is currently out injured with a long-term knee injury and will be desperate not be stuck with a ban for his words.

In El Clasico back in October Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman was left furious at the decision to award Real a penalty in the 3-1 defeat as he claimed VAR only gives calls against his side.

Koeman told Barca TV: ‘Every decision goes against us. In five games there have been none in our favour. There was the [Leo] Messi penalty against Sevilla that was not given and the red card against Getafe.