Real Madrid to appeal FIFA transfer ban

Real Madrid will appeal a FIFA punishment barring them from registering new players for the next two full transfer windows, the Liga club have confirmed.

Florentino Perez - cropped

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez

Real Madrid will appeal a FIFA punishment barring them from registering new players for the next two full transfer windows, the Liga club have confirmed.

Madrid, along with their city rivals Atletico Madrid, were hit with bans earlier on Thursday, after the Disciplinary Committee of world football's governing body found them to be in breach of regulations "relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18".

Atletico have already announced their intention to appeal and their neighbours will also do so after releasing a statement branding the sanctions as "absolutely unacceptable".

The statement from Madrid, who were also fined 360,000 Swiss francs, addressed each charge individually and denied any wrongdoing.

The club believes documentation sent by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to FIFA on April 17, 2014, in addition to papers filed on April 8 last year, can clear them of all charges.

On the charge of playing foreign players under the age of 18 without being appropriately registered with the RFEF, Real Madrid said: "Absolutely untrue. All the players that play or have played in the youth teams in our club are and have been registered with the RFEF, with prior notice before entering the field of play, as certified by the Spanish football federation to FIFA by means of a correspondence dated 17th April 2015."

On signing foreign players under the age of 18, either for their first registration in Spain or through transfers from other foreign clubs, the club said: "Equally untrue. Real Madrid C. F. has always complied with FIFA regulations.

"With regards to players older than 12 years of age and younger than 18, [Madrid] has always complied with FIFA regulations requesting that the RFEF process (as they did) the corresponding authorisation from the FIFA Players' Status Committee.

"With regards to the players under 12 years of age, the RFEF (the only FIFA representative in Spain) established and communicated to Real Madrid C. F. (email dated 10th March 2014) that in relation to these players, they don't need a separate process to that of a Spanish under age player, which was ratified by FIFA to the RFEF by fax on 17th April 2014."

Finally, on not communicating which players represented Real Madrid youth teams that FIFA considers to be equivalent to academy level, the statement added: "Also untrue. Although it is considered that the combined Real Madrid C. F. youth teams consist of an academy, despite not being independent legal entities, Real Madrid C. F. has always notified the RFEF the players who are registered in these teams, as can be proven by the fact that each and every one of them have the corresponding federative licenses, as stated in the document certified by the federation dated 8th April 2015."

Barcelona received a similar punishment in April 2014, although an unsuccessful appeals process meant the sanctions did not take effect until January 2015 and the following off-season's window.

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