CAS reduces Real Madrid’s transfer ban

Madrid, Dec 20 (IANS) The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday ruled to reduce the sanction imposed against Spanish soccer club Real Madrid by world football body FIFA that banned it from signing players for two transfer windows.

CAS partially upheld the appeal lodged by Real Madrid against the FIFA resolution forbidding the signing of new players, reducing the sanction to just one period (the January 2017 transfer window), reports Efe.

“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,” the club said in an official statement on its website.

The ruling means that Real Madrid will still be banned from signing any players during the winter transfer window (January 2-31).

FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee imposed the sanction against Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid on January 14 of this year, banning them from signing new players until January 2018, due to irregularities in the clubs’ signing of players under the age of 18.

Both teams contested the decision before FIFA’s Appeals Committee, which rejected the appeal on September 8.

Real Madrid requested CAS for a stay of the ban, in order to allow minors to continue playing for the club, which the court accepted on September 16.

In CAS’ latest decision, Real Madrid sees its sanction reduced not only in its transfer ban, but also regarding the financial penalty: the Spanish club must now pay FIFA a fine of 240,000 Swiss francs ($232,660) instead of 360,000 francs ($349,463)

The arbitration process was adjudicated to Swiss judge Michele Bernasconi, who heard the arguments of both parties and independent experts at a hearing in Lausanne on December 14.