ZURICH/MADRID: Real and Atl├ętico Madrid have followed Barcelona’s example in incurring the wrath of FIFA for breaching regulations on the international transfers of minors

The pair have been handed transfer bans for the next two windows and fined SFr360,000 and SFr900,000 respectively which can have far-reaching effects on their competitive ambitions and strategies.

In particular Madrid’s readiness to part with any of their established stars in the immediate future will be diminished, likely ending fanciful talk of Premier League returns for Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neither club issued an immediate comment but it is likely that, like Barcelona two year ago, they will seek to buy time by appealing first to FIFA and then the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Real, in particular, after enduring a torrid disciplinary time of it after being expelled from the Spanish cup for fielding an ineligible player.

A statement from the world federation’s disciplinary committee said the two clubs had 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.

The investigations concerned minor players who were involved and participated in competitions with the clubs over various periods between 2007 and 2014 (Atl├ętico de Madrid) and between 2005 and 2014 (Real Madrid).

Real and Atletico may not register any players at national and international level for their men’s teams for the next two transfer windows – though they does not prevent them agreeing ‘advance’ purchases.

The ban does not apply to the current transfer window.

Barcelona were handed the same penalty in April 2014 for also breaching rules on the transfer of under-18 players. The Barcelona ban finished with the start of the current window, which runs until the end of January.

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