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Zidane, Simeone blast “absurd” transfer bans on Madrid clubs

Spain Soccer La Liga

Real Madrid’s new head coach Zinedine Zidane waits for the start of the game prior a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Deportivo Coruna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)


MADRID (AP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane blasted the transfer ban imposed on the Spanish soccer powerhouse for violating rules on youth players, calling it “absurd” on Saturday.

[ MORE: PST’s La Liga coverage ]

FIFA banned Real Madrid and crosstown rival Atletico Madrid on Thursday from registering new players for two transfer windows starting in summer.

Former France great Zidane, who has four sons on Real Madrid’s youth teams, predicted the appeal by his club would succeed.

“It seems absurd to me because I have been here all my life with my family and my sons,” he said. “I am a little annoyed, but there are things that are very difficult to accept and that are absurd. Next week it will all be worked out and I am calm. It doesn’t make any sense. It is an error.”

Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also dismissive.

“I won’t waste my energy on this type of situation,” Simeone said. “Upon appeal, different things can happen.”

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday | Wednesday ]

Both Madrid and Atletico can sign players during the current winter window. After it closes, they can still reach deals to buy players but cannot register them to play until after the 2016-17 season.

Barcelona was banned for two transfer windows during 2015 for similar breaches of rules for signing players under the age of 18.

FIFA said Madrid and Atletico violated “several provisions concerning the international transfer and registration of minor players.”

The Spanish league has supported the clubs.