There have been rumors for months now that FIFA was going to hand Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with the same penalty that they gave Spanish rivals Barcelona- a two window transfer ban. Today FIFA confirmed those rumors as being true with the announcement that the two Madrid sides have been hit with a transfer embargo due to irregularities over signing ‘minors’ and were banned from signing players during the next two transfer windows.
World football’s governing body said both outfits “violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of minor players”. In addition to the ban, Atlético have been fined €821,000 and Madrid €328,000.
According to FIFA’s statement announcing the punishments, the body considers that Atlético committed breaches between 2007 and 2014, and Madrid from 2005 to 2014.
The body had been investigating Madrid and Atlético for a year, in a bid to ascertain whether the outfits had fully complied with the rules laid down in article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, which prohibits international deals involving underage players except in specific circumstances.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid may now decide to splash the cash before the end of the month as their two window ban is scheduled to start in the summer. This is what Barcelona did when they spent heavily on Suarez, Jérémy Mathieu, Ivan Rakitic and Thomas Vermaelen. Will we see Real go on a similar spending spree now over the next two weeks?
And over in the red side of Madrid where Koke and Antoine Griezmann have been linked with big money moves to the Premier League, what happens to those moves now?
This ban will have huge implications on the rest of Europe. At least one of Real stars, Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo, were expected to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer but now that looks unlikely as Real will be unable to sign a replacement.
There were stories in the media earlier this week that Zinedine Zidane wanted Paul Pogba as first Real Madrid Galactico, but with the transfer ban, the odds of him going to rivals Barcelona have greatly increased.
Eden Hazard had also been linked with a move to the Spanish capital and Real were expected to make another move for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea this summer, and now those moves will be put off.
But this is not just about Real. It appears that Chelsea striker Diego Costa’s chances of sealing a move back to Atletico Madrid are also now over while the transfer ban may also push Diego Simeone towards the Premier League with both Chelsea and Manchester United said to be considering a move for the Argentine.