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Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid handed transfer bans by FIFA for signing underage players

The two Madrid clubs cannot sign players for the next two transfer windows

Real Madrid Atletico Madrid transfer ban 2017
Both Madrid-based clubs will not be able to sign players until the summer of 2017

FIFA have handed La Liga clubs Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid transfer bans for signing underage players, according to a statement on their official website. The two Madrid-based clubs will not be allowed to sign players in the summer of 2016 and the January transfer window in 2017. Players can still be released by the two clubs and they can still register new players this month.

The two clubs will still be able to sign players in this window and have two more weeks to consolidate their squads for the next one-and-a-half seasons. Both clubs have also been fined, with Atletico fined CHF 900,000 while Real were fined CHF 360,000 (Swiss Francs).

The punishment is similar to what Barcelona also received in 2014 preventing them from registering players in 2015. Although Barcelona signed players such as Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan last summer, they could not be registered until January 2016.

FIFA statement on transfer ban for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid

According to FIFA, the two La Liga giants were sanctioned after they breached rules with respect to signing and resgistering international players who were yet to turn 18. They were also found guilty of registering and playing ineligible players in various competitions. 

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Spanish clubs Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

The two clubs 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.

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.

Rules for signing U-18 international players

While players from the same country can be signed with lesser restrictions, the case is not the same for international players. An U-18 player can only move to a club in a different country if their parents move to the respective country for reasons other than football. 

Also, if the youngster is aged between 16 and 18, and is from a country within the European Union or European Economic Area, they can only be signed if they live within 100km of the respective club.

Barcelona fell foul of these rules in 2014 and some youngsters had to be sent back home. 

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