There has been a plethora of controversy regarding Spain’s biggest clubs and the transfers they have made over the past few years. Barcelona was handed a one year transfer ban that just ended this month for breaching its rules on the international transfer and registration of players aged under 18.
On Thursday, it was discovered that two of the Catalan’s biggest rivals were handed the same punishment for the same crime.
FIFA announced that both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been banned from registering new signings for the next two transfer windows. The ban will not affect the current transferwindow though, but will kick in this summer.
The decision allows both clubs to bolster their squad as much as possible during the current transfer window, with the knowledge that they won’t be able to make anymore acquisitions for an entire calendar year.
For Real Madrid this has to be seen as a massive blow, with new head coach Zinedine Zidane not allowed to shape the squad to his preference over the next year.
January is always a difficult time to make moves, and Los Blancos will be desperate to sign players as soon as possible.
The year long transfer ban didn’t have too much of a negative effect on Barcelona last year though, with the club winning a treble.
Both Madrid clubs will be hoping they can have similar success, despite not being allowed to register any new players for an entire year.
Real have been fined $360,000, while Atletico has been told to pay $900,000, and neither club will be able to sign players during the July 2016 and January 2017 transfer windows.
Top clubs often bring in young players and then develop them at their youth academies in the hope that they will go on to become major stars.
Competition is intense to attract the very best young players and in recent years FIFA has shown a willingness to monitor this market.
“FIFA works hard to protect the rights of players under the age of 18 — whether male or female, amateur or professional,” said a FIFA statement.
“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.”
Both clubs were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNN.
“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,” FIFA added.