Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been banned from registering new players for the next two transfer windows, Fifa has announced.
The Fifa Disciplinary Committee announced that the two clubs “violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration” of players under the age of 18.
The clubs were found to have breached Article 19 of Fifa’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, which covers Protection of Minors, as well as Article 5 on Registration of Players and Article 9 on the requirement for an International Transfer Certificate for each signing.
They will be permitted to sign players in the current transfer window but are then set to be banned from making additions to their squads until after the 2016-17 season.
The statement from world football’s governing body added: “Both clubs are to serve a transfer ban that prevents them from registering any players at national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods for breaching articles 5, 9, 19 and 19bis as well as annexes 2 and 3 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the ‘Regulations’).
“The transfer ban, which doesn’t affect the current registration period at all, given that it opened before the decisions were notified, applies to each club as a whole — with the exception of the women’s, futsal and beach soccer teams — and does not prevent the release of players.”
Fifa also said Atletico had been fined 900,000 Swiss francs (822,600 euros) and Real had been fined 360,000 Swiss francs (329,000 euros) and that “both clubs have been issued with a reprimand and given 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.”
La Liga side Barcelona served a transfer ban lasting two consecutive transfer windows that expired earlier this month. Fifa suspended Barca’s ban following an appeal in April 2014, which allowed the club to buy and register players in that summer, with the sanction becoming active in the 2015 January window.
There had been speculation for some time that the two Madrid clubs would be punished, with suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter telling El Mundo Deportivo last month: “If Barca faced sanctions for breaking Fifa rules and the two Madrid clubs committed identical infractions, then it’s normal practice that they would face similar sanctions.”
In May last year, Real Madrid had strongly denied a report in Madrid-based newspaper AS that they had brought 25 Chinese youngsters under the age of 14 to live and develop as footballers in Spain.
In January 2015, AS had published a special report on La Liga clubs’ reliance on foreign youngsters in which it was claimed that Atletico had the most non-Spanish players in its youth academy, with 43 players from 26 different countries. It said 21 of them were aged under 16 at the time.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whose club failed with an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, has repeatedly criticised Fifa’s rules over youth transfers and said a year ago that he did not wish to see arch-rivals Real punished as a result.— ESPNFC.