Real Madrid director general: 'Many European clubs' face transfer bans
Real Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez says he expects many more European clubs to be hit by transfer bans for breaking youth transfer regulations -- and that cases are already advanced against some Premier League clubs.
FIFA has announced that Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been banned from registering new players in the next two transfer windows after committing irregularities in youth transfers -- similar to the punishment handed out in 2014 to fellow La Liga outfit Barcelona.
Both Madrid clubs are set to appeal against the decision, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary, although Barca were only able to postpone the punishment by six months when they tried to fight their ban.
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At a news conference on Thursday, Sanchez repeatedly called the FIFA action "absurd," pointing out more than once that the four sons of current Madrid first-team coach and long-time Madrid resident Zinedine Zidane had been included in the documentation received.
Later that evening the long-time close associate of Blancos president Florentino Perez told El Larguero that FIFA there were "many other" similar cases open against clubs across Europe.
"There are cases open against many European clubs," Sanchez said. "Barcelona was the first case we heard about. But in reality there are cases against many other clubs."
Sanchez was asked if he considered it strange that only Spanish clubs have been punished so far -- with cases also reportedly opened against others including Valencia, Villarreal and Sevilla -- given that many young players from outside Europe have apparently joined clubs in other countries, including France and England.
He replied: "I do not know well about French cases, but with British clubs I have heard quite a bit, and I am aware of some disciplinary cases having been opened some time ago."
"I would imagine FIFA have limited resources to manage these type of cases and cannot do them all at the same time. But my feeling is this is being done on a European level, and that in the coming years there will be many more of these type of cases."
FIFA only permits international youth transfers when one of the following three situations apply: the player's parents have moved country for their own non-related reasons; the move takes place within the European Union if a player is aged between 16 and 18; or the player's home is less than 50 kilometres from the national border being crossed.
After his club had exhausted all means of trying to avoid the ban, and early reports had claimed Madrid and Atletico were set to suffer a similar punishment, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that he was in favour of an amnesty for all clubs who had been found guilty of breaching the youth transfer regulations.