Real Madrid reserve team boss Zinedine Zidane has been banned from the bench for three months over missing coaching qualifications.
Francisco Rubio, a lawyer for the Segunda Division, imposed the recommended ban on the former France international, which was less than the several months maximum it could have been.
There was a complaint made against Zidane’s position as Real Madrid Castilla head coach in August, a position he had taken during the summer after choosing to step aside as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant with the club’s first team.
The former midfielder has a Uefa A Licence – equivalent to Level 2 qualifications in Spain – but needed Level 3 badges to hold the position to take charge of the Blancos’ second string.
Zidane’s deputy, Santiago Sanchez, has been handed the same ban as he used his qualifications to shield Zidane from being pulled up on his lack of coaching badges, which the Champions League winner now must obtain before early April to avoid further sanctions.
A statement from the European champions read: “Real Madrid wish to express our complete disagreement with this decision since, in any case, Zinedine Zidane is enabled by the French Football Federation to serve as head coach in the category that is Real Madrid Castilla, as credited with the certificate issued by the FF on October 13, 2014.
“Real Madrid will exhaust all legal avenues to stress that this decision does not make sense.”
Ahead of the ruling, Zidane had already his disdain towards the case against him and insisted that he does regret having forged his qualifications in France rather than Spain.
“The club did everything it could and I will continue to do everything possible to defend myself,” he told La Figaro.
“I have no regrets about having spent my degrees in France. If I had to do it all over then I’d do exactly the same things.
“It’s still amazing that there are so few people defending me and explaining that I did not have special privilege. I did not circumvent the obstacles and some just took this as an opportunity to spit on me.”
The former Real Madrid and Juventus midfielder has 10 days to launch an appeal.