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By ESPN Staff
Feb 29, 2008

Vasco accuse Real of tapping up 15-year-old

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian club Vasco da Gama have accused Real Madrid of making an offer to 15-year-old player Philippe Coutinho and say they are reporting the matter to world soccer's governing body FIFA. 'Real Madrid went to the player's family and made very tempting but illegal offers,' Vasco president Eurico Miranda told reporters. 'We have reported Real Madrid to FIFA and the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) for their approach to Philippe Coutinho.' 'Coutinho is only 15 and the FIFA rules are clear, transfers abroad are only allowed for 18-year-olds.' Miranda said Real had offered a job to the player's father and the chance to live abroad. 'They try to get around the law by taking those responsible for the player to live and work abroad. They offer a job to the father and take the player. But they're not doing that here at Vasco,' he said. Real were not immediately available for comment on Miranda's statements.