The two Spanish giants have been found guilty of the same irregularities as Barcelona and, after the current window closes, will then be unable to sign new players until 2017
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been handed transfer bans for the next two transfer windows for breaching rules regarding players under the age of 18, Fifa have confirmed.
The two clubs will be able to register players during the current January transfer window but will then be unable to make signings for the two subsequent transfer windows due to irregularities over the “international transfers of minors”.
Barcelona were handed the same punishment for a similar breach, with their ban lifted this month, and neither of the Madrid-based clubs will be able to make another signing until the summer of 2017.
Real have been linked with a host of elite players, such as David de Gea and Eden Hazard, but will need to act now or wait 18 months in order to sign them.
A statement released by Fifa on Thursday confirmed the sanctions: “The Fifa Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Spanish clubs Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
“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.
“Both clubs are to serve a transfer ban that prevents them from registering any players at national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods for breaching articles 5, 9, 19 and 19bis as well as annexes 2 and 3 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the “Regulations”).
“The transfer ban, which does not affect the current registration period at all, given that it opened before the decisions were notified, applies to each club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s, futsal and beach soccer teams – and does not prevent the release of players.
“Additionally, Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid have been fined CHF 900,000 and CHF 360,000 respectively, while both clubs have been issued with a reprimand and given 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.”
The ruling, which is likely to be appealed by both clubs, means Madrid and Atletico face a race against time to strengthen their squads before it is imposed.
Atletico have already snapped up Augusto Fernandez from Celta Vigo in this window while Matias Kranevitter is now available to coach Diego Simeone after a loan spell at River Plate expired.
Madrid are yet to enter the transfer market, with new coach Zinedine Zidane still assessing his squad after succeeding Rafael Benitez last week.