FIFA has confirmed that it is investigating Real Madrid for alleged irregularities in signing minors. This is the same issue that resulted in Real’s bitter rivals Barcelona being handed a transfer embargo on the club signing any new players until 1st January 2016 due to irregularities in signing and registering players under the age of 18 between 2009 and 2013.
“FIFA is currently gathering information and documents to be able to correctly evaluate this matter”, a spokesperson for football’s governing body told the German press agency dpa.
“For the moment no formal disciplinary proceedings have been opened. We are unable to provide any further information at this time”, the spokesperson said.
“All I’m going to say is that we agree with FIFA on this matter. We have worked with FIFA and shall continue to work with FIFA and of course, we’re absolutely confident in Real Madrid’s transfer dealings”, said Emilio Butragueño, the director of institutional relations for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid are reportedly relaxed over the enquiry, but the well publicized signing of 16-year-old Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard will just fuel to the fire that the two Spanish sides are poaching the best young players from around the world illegally,
The investigation into Madrid focuses on two 12-year-olds brought from Venezuela in 2012. Manuel Godoy and Fernando Macias were on a tour of trials with big clubs but before they could reach River Plate and Milan, Madrid snapped them up via an intermediary who has a soccer school in the Spanish capital.
The first was signed by Madrid in 2012 and the second of the two players signed aged 14 in 2013. He is currently in the youth system of Rayo Vallecano.
A sub-plot to this story is that Barcelona are convinced that their FIFA investigation was started due to information provided by Real Madrid. Is this a case of payback and that Barca are providing information that will sink their rivals?
If, and that is still a big if at the moment, Real Madrid are found guilty, as Barca were, and they get the same transfer ban, that will totally throw a curve ball at the transfer market.