Real Madrid and Atletico have been banned for breaching rules regarding players under the age of 18 for the two transfer windows, Fifa have confirmed.
The two clubs can register players during the current January transfer window but will then be unable to make new signings for the two subsequent transfer windows due to the irregularities over the “international transfer of minors”
The two Madrid giants were culpable of the same offence as their rival Barcelona and, after the current transfer window closes, cannot sign new players until 2017.
Barcelona were hit with same punishment for a similar breach, with their ban lifted only this month.
Davis de Gea and Eden Hazard have been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid but the club must act now or wait after 18 months in other to sign these players.
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 bans 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 19, 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 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 is likely to be appealed by both clubs but the clubs must act fast to strengthen their squads before it is imposed. GNA