With all eyes focused on the hot topic of international transfer of underage players, the recent CAS rulings involving the top three Spanish clubs (FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid) have a guaranteed front seat on the latest developments in the world of football, not only because they involve the three biggest Spanish clubs but also because those decisions implied several major setbacks on its management and sporting strategy, since all of them were sanctioned by FIFA.
While so far Spain appears to have taken the impact of FIFA’s wrath regarding the protection of minors in football, it is almost certain that there will be other clubs in other countries facing similar disciplinary proceedings in the near future.
The main purpose of this article is the analysis of the conduct and sanctions imposed on the Spanish Club Atlético de Madrid by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, upheld by the FIFA Appeal Committee and thereafter partially upheld by the Decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The proceedings before FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport
At the end of 2014, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee informed Club Atlético de Madrid (ATM) through the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) that it had opened a preliminary investigation regarding a possible violation of some rules regarding the protection and transfer of minors and it requested additional information from the club concerning various players, along with information concerning another club named Atlético Madrileño C.F. (AT Madrileño).
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee, after closing the proceedings, decided to sanction ATM with a fine and a ban from registering any players for two consecutive registration periods - commonly called transfer windows - after finding that the Club had infringed the following articles of FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players...
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