Potentially shocking news is bringing a hammer down on Spain’s top flight as its three powerhouse clubs could all end up shackled by FIFA for illegally signing youth players.
Barcelona was already handed its transfer ban from FIFA last calendar year, keeping the Catalan giants from signing any new players in 2015. Now, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid face the same fate for the same reason, according to a report by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.
The report states that both Madrid clubs will be immediately banned from all transfer activity for the next two windows (this coming summer plus the next midseason winter window), but it is possible that the teams could appeal as Barcelona did and delay the ruling, giving them a window to make furious signings and prepare for the year off. That would mean this summer could see a furious influx of players to the Spanish capital.
Other reports say Atletico has already received communication about its punishment from FIFA, and that Real Madrid should be receiving its own shortly. It does not say what youth signings violated the FIFA regulations, but that the violations were repeated. Real Madrid did sign 16-year-old Martin Odegaard this past winter in a very high-profile transaction. Odegaard has since struggled mightily with Madrid’s reserve squad. Real Madrid released a statement in January hinting that this may happen.
This is a disastrous look for Spanish soccer at the top level, as the three most powerful clubs currently in La Liga have all caused issues with young developing players to force FIFA’s hand.