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FIFA bans Real Madrid, Atletico over transfer of minors

Two Spanish clubs, Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid have been banned and fined for international transfers of minors by world football governing body FIFA.

Real and Atletico were banned from signing players in the next two transfer windows for breaching rules relating to signing players under the age of 18.

FIFA said Thursday that its Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the two Spanish clubs.

Though the Spanish clubs can still sign players in the current transfer window, they will be banned from making additions to their squads until after the 2016-17 season.

Barcelona served a similar sanction for 2015 after stalling the transfer ban to enable them sign players in the 2014 window.

According to FIFA, “Real and Atletico were found to have violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of minor players as well as other relevant provisions with regard to the registration and participation of certain players in competitions.

“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 19b 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.”

Apart from the ban, they have also been fined.

“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 given 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.

“The decisions, which were notified to the parties concerned Thursday, were made based on the specific elements of each case. They follow investigations initially conducted by FIFA Transfer Matching System GmbH (FIFA TMS) and subsequently by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee as part of disciplinary proceedings. The investigations concerned minor players who were involved and participated in competitions with the clubs over various periods between 2007 and 2014 (Atlético de Madrid) and between 2005 and 2014 (Real Madrid).

“FIFA works hard to protect the rights of players under the age of 18 – whether male or female, amateur or professional. This is done through the enforcement of regulations prohibiting the international transfer of minors, or the first registration of minors in a country other than their own, except in specific circumstances (cf. art. 19 of the Regulations) that must be approved by the sub-committee appointed by the Players’ Status Committee.

“As such, the provisions relating to the protection of minors need to be strictly applied. This has been confirmed on various occasions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Opening up the door to exceptions beyond those carefully drafted and included in the Regulations would unavoidably lead to cases of circumvention of the rationale for these provisions,” FIFA said.

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