Barcelona's Pique in the clear for derby celebration

BARCELONA: Gerard Pique of Barcelona has escaped punishment for shushing Espanyol supporters after scoring in a local derby earlier this month and taunting the club before the game.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Thursday it had ended its investigation into the defender.

Pique said he had suffered abusive chants throughout the match on Feb. 4 and that “telling the crowd to be quiet was the least I could do”.

His behaviour, however, was criticised by La Liga’s president Javier Tebas, who said it provoked Espanyol’s fans.

Following the incident, the Spanish top flight said from now on it would ask the federation to investigate overzealous celebrations from players.

The RFEF criticised Pique’s behaviour, but said there was no case to answer.

“The player’s words don’t contribute to a model of prudence and don’t help consolidate sport as a space exempt from social confrontation,” said a statement from the Federation’s Competition Committee.

Before the game Pique taunted Espanyol’s credentials by saying they were from the municipality Cornella and not the city of Barcelona, prompting an angry response from the club and the town hall of Cornella.