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Rediff.com  » Sports » Real trio handed one-match ban

Real trio handed one-match ban

April 27, 2005 15:08 IST

Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane, Michel Salgado and Walter Samuel were suspended for one match on Tuesday by the Spanish soccer federation.

French striker Zidane and defender Samuel were dismissed during their game against Villarel at the Bernabeu in Madrid on Saturday. Rightback Salgado received a fifth yellow card, which brought an automatic ban.

Real Madrid, finishing with nine men, fought back from a goal down to beat Villarreal 2-1

Zidane, who pushed his hand into the face of defender Quique Alvarez, was cleared of "aggression," an offence which would have led to a heavier punishment.

Alvarez received his marching orders at the same time after scuffling with Zidane.

The trio will miss Saturday's visit to Real Sociedad, which Madrid needs to win to maintain realistic hopes of clinching the league title.

With 69 points, they are placed second in the Spanish league, three points behind Barcelona.

Salgado, in an interview to the Spanish newspaper AS, said that victory was so crucial to his team against Villarel that emotions were running high.

"It was impossible the way the game was going. But not playing against Real will help for the recovery of my knee," said the defender.

Salgado also said that referees mistakes this season have tended to favour Barcelona, the top team in the league.

"Look, this year it´s clear that Barcelona have the most favoured team by the referees´s mistakes. These have always existed but when they are in favour of Madrid people talk of robbery and that the League is bought."

Madrid provided video evidence in a bid to convince the federation of the players' innocence. The club said Monday that referee Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez had made a series of mistakes, describing them on its Web site as "the seven deadly sins."

"We all got the feeling that we would have won despite the referee. But I´m not going to talk more about it, because I don´t like talking about the referees. If you play too much attention to the referees´s decisions, you forget what matters, to go out to win," concluded Salgado.

The committee ruled that a yellow card issued to David Beckham in the match wouldn't count.