Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has called FIFA’s decision to uphold its one-year transfer ban against the club and city rivals Atletico Madrid as ‘absurd.’
Both the Madrid clubs had lost their appeals against one-year transfer bans for breaking rules protecting underage players. The clubs have been blocked from registering new players until January 2018. The teams can make deals to sign players but cannot register them to play.
For Madrid, although FIFA did not announce the names of the players, it is rumoured that those involved are eldest sons of head coach Zinedine Zidane – Luca, 18, and Enzo, 21.
The decision has not gone down well with the former France midfielder who said that he is especially angry because the ban will keep two of his own sons from playing for the club’s youth teams.
Both clubs have denied breaking the rules regarding the signing of teenage players, whose registrations were accepted by the Spanish Football Federation, and have said they will be appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Fellow Spanish club Barcelona received a similar ban in 2015. They struck deals to acquire Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal during the ban, but couldn’t register them to play until the ban was over.
Regarding the ban, Zidane said,” It’s absurd that they can’t play. I don’t understand it, it bothers me and the embargo is unjust.”
In the strictest interpretation of the rule, underage footballers can only move countries if they have to, because their parents have moved countries for non-football related reasons. Luca and Enzo were both born in France and joined Madrid in 2004 where they were registered under their mother’s surname Fernandez.
Hence, going by FIFA’s rule, they are banned from playing for another year.
Also, according to reports, a total of eight Real Madrid players including Zidane’s sons, were involved in this incident.
However, all said and done, both Real and Atletico have pretty strong teams and the transfer ban should not affect their quest for trophies this season.