Atletico unsuccessful in transfer ban appeal

Atletico Madrid transfer ban

Atletico Madrid have lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a transfer ban imposed by FIFA, meaning they cannot register players until January 2018.

Diego Simeone’s side and rivals Real Madrid were banned from signing players for two transfer windows for breaching the rules over the transfer of foreign players under the age of 18.

After losing their appeal to FIFA, Atletico served the first window of their ban in January 2017, having agreed to waive their right to suspend a FIFA transfer ban, while they appealed the sanction to CAS.

But CAS’ ruling, which Atletico say they strongly disagree with, means they are unable to add new players prior to the 2017-18 season, and will now serve the second window of their ban.

The decision will affect the transfer plans of Atletico and other clubs. Antoine Griezman has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, while the Spanish side will now not be able to land rumoured targets Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon and former star Diego Costa, currently at Chelsea, until next January at the earliest.

“CAS has dismissed the appeal presented by Atletico de Madrid against the penalty imposed by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee on the case of registering players under age and that was ratified by FIFA’s Appeal Committee, reducing the financial penalty, but maintaining the prohibition of registering licenses in the next transfer market period,” Atletico said in a statement on Thursday.

Both Atletico and rivals Madrid were originally handed the two-window punishments in January 2016, with the appeals process only now at an end.

Zinedine Zidane’s men had their ban cut to one window, meaning they, unlike Atleti, are free to sign players, which is one of the reasons cited by Los Colchoneros as they explained their displeasure at CAS’ verdict.

Atletico said: “We consider that the decision to support the prohibition of registering players in a second period, corresponding to the summer of 2017, supposes a comparative disadvantage and discriminatory treatment to our entity, since recently and in a similar case, the penalty was partially lifted, allowing to register players starting on July 1st. This ruling is unfair and causes an irreparable damage to our club.”

Atletico also criticised CAS for missing a May 31 deadline to give a verdict and the club insisted they had always complied with Spanish legislation.

Atleti stressed their faith in the current squad, who finished third in La Liga in 2016-17, to see them through the first half of the new season before reinforcements can arrive.

“Our sports planning for next season has contemplated at all times the two scenarios that could arise once CAS announced their decision,” continued their statement.

“From this moment on, the club will move forward in the negotiations necessary to formalise the operations to register players from the 1st of January, when we will be authorised by FIFA to register new licenses.

“We have full confidence in our current squad, with which we have won direct passage to the Champions League for the fifth year in a row and have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.”

Photo: EPA/ZIPI