Like Barcelona before them, FIFA has slapped both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with a two transfer window ban. Also like Barcelona before them, the ban stems from “violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration” of players under age 18.
The two clubs will not be able to register any new players for the next 14 months, or this summer’s upcoming transfer window and the winter window one year from now. This means that the only way they can bring in new players after February 1st of this year is by promoting youth products. Players can be signed, but cannot play until the ban is lifted. Real was also fined $360,000 and Atleti $893,000. Both clubs can still sign and register players in this transfer window, and both clubs are expected to appeal the ruling.
Part of FIFA’s statement is below:
“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 does not 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.”
Speculation had been mounting that these clubs would be punished in the same way Barcelona was, with now suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter telling Mundo Deportivo: “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.”
Reports started emerging one year ago about the number of foreign players registered in La Liga youth academies, with Atletico Madrid having 43 players from 26 countries, and 21 of them were under 16. In May, AS also reported that Real bought 25 Chinese players under age 14 to live and develop in Spain.
FIFA only allows transfers of players under 18 to occur if and when one of these three situations occur: the player’s parents have moved countries for their own non-related reasons; the move takes place within the European Union if a player is aged between 16 and 18; or the player’s home is less than 50 kilometres from the national border being crossed.