Real Madrid transfer ban reduced after Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal
Real Madrid will be able to sign players during summer 2017 after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) partially accepted their appeal regarding a transfer ban imposed by FIFA for breaking youth transfer regulations.
Real announced on their official website that they will still not be able to register any new players during the January 2017 transfer window, but will be able to conduct business as normal next summer.
In January, FIFA ruled that both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid had broken international youth transfer rules and would be banned for 12 months from registering any new players -- in the wake of rivals Barcelona serving a transfer ban throughout 2015.
Barca's appeal to the CAS was unsuccessful and the Catalan club served the punishment in full, but the Switzerland-based court has now "partially accepted" the case made by Madrid's lawyers that their situation was different.
Real said in a statement: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today informed Real Madrid C. F. of their decision by which they have partially upheld the appeal lodged by the club against the FIFA resolution which imposed a sanction forbidding the signing of players for two transfer windows, reducing said sanction to just one period, corresponding to the January 2017 transfer window
"The decision highlights the injustice of the original ban imposed by FIFA, although the club regrets that the CAS lacked the courage to revoke the ruling entirely."
Atletico were found guilty by FIFA of similiar offences and also appealed to CAS -- using a separate legal team and making their own arguments.
The Estadio Vicente Calderon side have not yet commented on the outcome of their appeal, with AS reporting the club will serve a ban during January 2017 and are then confident of being permitted to sign players next summer.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan