FIFA fines Spanish FA over Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid youth transfers

The Spanish FA (RFEF) has been fined 220,000 Swiss francs (€203,359) by FIFA's Disciplinary Committee for allowing Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to register international players under the age of 18.

Real and Atletico have already been handed transfer bans, which are due to cover both transfer windows in 2017, after FIFA ruled that they had broken its regulations regarding the international transfers of players aged under-16 on multiple occasions. Both clubs are now appealing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The RFEF has now been fined for its role in allowing Atletico and Madrid to bring in young players from outside Spain, and register them to play in official competition, in contravention of FIFA rules.

A FIFA statement read: "The RFEF was found to have violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of minor players.

"The RFEF was sanctioned with a fine of CHF 220,000 and granted an additional deadline of six months in order to regularise its relevant regulatory framework and the existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football within the country. In addition, the RFEF was issued with a warning and a reprimand in accordance with articles 13 and 14 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

"The decision was made based following investigations initially conducted by FIFA Transfer Matching System GmbH (FIFA TMS) and subsequently by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. The investigations concerned minor players who were involved with and participated in competitions with the clubs Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF over various periods between 2007 and 2014 (Atletico de Madrid) and between 2005 and 2014 (Real Madrid)."

The RFEF was also sanctioned when Barcelona were found guilty of breaking the same youth transfer rules, which ultimately resulted in a transfer ban that prevented the Catalan club from registering any new signings in 2015.

FIFA has strict rules on the international transfer of minors because some European clubs in the past have stockpiled young overseas talent, only to release those players a long way from home when they fail to make the grade.

For example, clubs can only sign under-18s from abroad if the player's parents have moved to where the club is based but that move was not triggered by the transfer. Players over 16 are also allowed to move between clubs in the European Union or European Economic Area, or if the player lives less than 100 kilometres from the foreign club he or she is moving to.