Director highlights absurdity of club being sanction for signing Zinedine Zidane's son.
Real Madrid general director Jose Angel Sanchez has described FIFA’s claims over the club breaking the transfer rules for underage players as “absurd.”
Sanchez and Javier Lopez, the director of Legal Services at Real Madrid, gave a press conference after FIFA announced a one-year transfer ban on Real and their city rivals Atletico de Madrid.
“FIFA’s claims are so wrong that they absurdly sanction us for the signings of sons of the first team manager,” Sanchez said.
“Zidane. It is so wrong, that leads to such absurd situation, like that of Ezequiel Garay’s brother. I assure you all the other cases they are sanctioning the club for are exactly the same.”
Asked about how this is going to affect the club’s strategy in the current transfer window, Sanchez admitted “this has been so unexpected that we haven’t even considered that.
“It appears FIFA made this decision back in July, but we were not warned,” he added.
Sanchez acknowledged the image of the club has been “seriously” damaged.
“However, it is so unbelievable the way they’ve sanctioned us, that we think it will have no consequences,” he continued. “We respect the values of childhood and have refused to sign underage players in order to respect the regulations.”
Asked about the similarities with Barcelona’s ban, Sanchez said that Real Madrid’s case “is different.”
“We acted correctly, as the documents prove, and this is a mistake. That is why there are authorities that can revoke it,” he stated.
Both Real and Atletico confirmed their intention to appeal.
“We are confident the appeal will be successful,” Sanchez said.
Meanwhile, Madrid said in a statement on their website: “Real Madrid will appeal this decision by FIFA to all sports authorities, considering it absolutely inadmissable.”
Atletico also announced they will appeal, although president Enrique Cerezo insisted they would be able to cope with a ban.
“We will appeal, we think we are right and I think this is unjust,” he said.
“Not being able to sign is a problem because the seasons are very long and you always need players. Fortunately, we have a good and big squad with young players that can overcome these two windows without signings.”