Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid given transfer bans
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 14/01/16 9:09pm
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been banned from registering players between next month and the summer of 2017.
Both clubs have been punished by FIFA's disciplinary committee for breaching regulations governing the transfer of players under the age of 18.
The bans do not affect the current window, but neither club will be able to bring in new signings in the summer or next January.
Both have denied wrongdoing and say they will appeal, a road Barcelona went down when they received the same punishment for a similar offence in April 2014.
The appeal procedure delayed Barca's ban until after the summer transfer window, allowing them to sign Luis Suarez among others, but Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague says the timing of the latest announcement could deny Real and Atletico that outcome.
Balague told SSNHQ: "The hope for Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid is that they can convince FIFA to hold up the bans.
"But the timing is different [to Barcelona's situation]. They were banned in April, not in January. FIFA may say they have enough time to appeal and that's their only hope. Otherwise they have whatever's left in January to sign players that may be useful for the next two seasons."
The verdict by football's international governing body will cause some concern for Real Madrid, in particular, who had been looking for big changes in the squad, including offloading Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema before next year.
Atletico have been negotiating new contracts, while Real have signed young players hoping they will be useful. Within the clubs though, they are hoping they will get the same treatment as Barcelona.
Balague added: "The clubs can also appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which means the whole thing can be delayed.
"They had big plans in terms of what to do with their squads. Atletico have wanted to renew the contracts of their players, while Real wanted to do a whole recycling of the squad, which included the sale of Ronaldo and Benzema for the right offers.
"We will have to see what happens with the proceedings. They knew this was happening though and both have contingency plans.
"Atletico have been negotiating new contracts, while Real have signed young players hoping they will be useful. Within the clubs though, they are hoping they will get the same treatment as Barcelona."
A statement from Real gave a detailed rebuttal of the charges against them and called FIFA's decision "absolutely inappropriate", while Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said: "We will appeal, we think we are right and I think this is unjust."