- Associated Press - Monday, August 25, 2014

Spanish champion Atletico Madrid will have to find a way to win without its inspirational coach for the next month.

The Spanish football federation suspended Atletico coach Diego Simeone for eight matches on Monday after he was sent off for a vehement protest that included tapping an assistant referee on the head during the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Simeone will miss four Spanish league matches, with the remaining four-match ban applying to future Spanish Super Cups.

Simeone was already suspended from Atletico’s league opener at Rayo Vallecano on Monday because of a suspension that carried over from last season.

That means Simeone’s new suspension will begin on Aug. 30 against Eibar. He will then miss the clash against Real Madrid on Sept. 13 and the subsequent league games against Celta Vigo and Almeria.

Atletico says it will appeal the decision. It has 10 days to do so.

Later on Monday, Simeone watched from the stands as his team was held to a 0-0 draw by Rayo at Vallecas Stadium while assistant German Burgos coached on the sideline.

Simeone said he had no comment to make on the suspension other than to show his “respect for the people who make the decisions.”

The federation announced its decision three days after defending Spanish champion Atletico beat Madrid 1-0 to win the Super Cup 2-1 on aggregate.

Simeone was ejected in the 25th minute of the match at Vicente Calderon Stadium for dissent after he vociferously called for Juanfran Torres to be allowed back on the pitch after being treated on the sidelines. The defender had received treatment for a cut on his lip that had bloodied his shirt and was waiting to go back out.

Simeone was suspended for four games for patting the back of the assistant referee’s head, two games for protesting, one game for applauding his sending off, and one game for remaining in the stands instead of going to the changing room after his expulsion. The federation statement cited referee Fernandez Borbalan’s match report.

Simeone was also fined 4,805 euros ($6,339), while Atletico was fined 2,800 euros ($3,694).

Burgos will remain in charge of the team during games while Simeone serves his suspension.

Simeone will also miss the first game of the Champions League for a suspension incurred in last year’s final, when Atletico lost 4-1 to Madrid in extra time.

In its previous three seasons under Simeone, Atletico has won the Spanish Super Cup, the Spanish league, the Copa del Rey, the European Super Cup and the Europa League.

Story Continues →