Spanish giants Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will be ineligible to sign players over the next two transfer windows after they lost their appeals against one-year transfer bans by FIFA for breaking rules protecting underage players.
FIFA’s appeals committee dismissed challenges by both clubs on Thursday, after transfer embargoes were imposed in January. The bans were however later suspended pending the appeals verdicts.
The Madrid clubs have been blocked from registering new players until January 2018. The teams can make deals to sign players but cannot register them to play.
World football governing body FIFA said in a statement: “The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by Spanish clubs Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid and to confirm in their entirety the decisions rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors.
“As such, 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 19-bis as well as annexes 2 and 3 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the ‘Regulations’). The transfer ban 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.
“Additionally, Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid have been fined CHF 900,000 and CHF 360,000 respectively, while both clubs have been issued with a reprimand and a warning and given 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.
“The grounds of the decisions taken by the FIFA Appeal Committee were communicated to the parties concerned today.”
Barcelona served a similar sanction for 2015 after stalling the transfer ban to enable them to sign players in the 2014 window.
The Catalan club signed players such as Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal after the ban took effect again, but couldn’t register them until after the ban period.