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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Atletico Madrid must respect La Liga scheduling - Javier Tebas

La Liga president Javier Tebas called Atletico Madrid a prime-time club and said coach Diego Simeone should not complain about quick turnaround between Champions League and league matches. 

Simeone's players endured a disappointing 2-1 loss with 10 men to Sporting Gijon on Saturday, and the Argentine coach told reporters afterward that he felt his team should have probably been given an extra day's rest following a midweek Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven.

"We are pleased to be premium. We are premium because we played at 4 p.m. and we have been watched in China. So, I am delighted because we are premium," Simeone told his post-match news conference.

"But I do not like to look for excuses. We have always been aware of our goal. The aim of the club is to be third and we work in order to reach the club's goal. We know in terms of numbers this defeat make things much tougher in order to have any chance to be champions in La Liga."

Barcelona lead Atletico by nine points at the top of the Primera Division after the Blaugrana squandered a two-goal advantage in a 2-2 draw at Villarreal.

Tebas defended the league's decision to schedule Atletico Madrid for a Saturday match after the midweek Champions League fixture.

La Liga president Javier Tebas called Atletico Madrid a 'prime-time' team.

"[Simeone] is a premium coach and I want him here always. Just as I want Atletico here. Everything is premium here," Tebas said. "The scheduling deserves top respect. Bayern [Munich] played on Saturday in the Bundesliga after playing on Wednesday. And they played at 15:30. And Arsenal. Atletico did it after playing on Tuesday. That is La Liga policy."

Tebas promised that the league would look more closely at recent incidents involving match referees.

Villarreal coach Marcelino hit out at referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez  on Sunday after his side's 2-2 draw with Barcelona. Marcelino made clear that he felt the 32-year-old referee, who took charge of his first La Liga game in August, had damaged his team's chances of securing victory.

Barca's second goal had come from the penalty spot after Sanchez Martinez ruled that Sergio Asenjo had fouled Neymar, despite replays showing that the Villarreal keeper touched the ball before making contact with the Brazilian.

Barca defender Gerard Pique was also spared a second yellow card for handball, which brought protests from Marcelino and resulted in the coach being sent to the stands.

"I am worried that on the Monday after matches we are talking more about the league officiating than the stars and the games," he said. "I always say that we have very good referees in Spain, but maybe we need to improve our techniques and our technology. There were problems during this weekend and there have been in weeks past. We must evolve as other leagues are doing. It cannot happen that the referees are the last ones to find out what it is going on in a match."

Finally, Tebas said he was not worried about player and club use of social media but hinted that the league may limit use of social media during and immediately after matches.

"That is not an opportune time and we plan to regulate it," he said, exhorting players to exercise caution on social media.

Pique hit back at Real Madrid fans who had criticised the decisions during the game.

The Spain international used his Twitter account to respond to El Espanyol editor Pedro J. Ramirez's insistence he should have been sent off, writing: "Why don't you talk about the first yellow card? Because you're not interested. Don't be a supporter when you are a reporter."

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