Real Madrid and city rivals Atletico de Madrid have been handed transfer bans preventing them from registering any players for the next two transfer windows – effectively meaning they can not sign anyone the end of the 2016-17 season.
FIFA announced the severe punishment, similar to the one dished out to Barcelona which ended this month, for violating rules surrounding the signing of players from overseas under the age of 18.
A ban had been mooted for some time with suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter telling El Mundo Deportivo last month that the punishment would be similar to the one Barcelona had faced.
Los Blancos last year denied signing 25 Chinese youngsters under the age of 14 to live in Spain and develop as footballers. A report in AS last year revealed the number of young overseas players at Spanish clubs – with Aletico believed to have 43 youth players in its academy coming from 26 countries.
A statement from FIFA read: “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.”