Spanish giants Atletico Madrid will not be able to sign new players this summer as their transfer ban has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The La Liga side were banned in July 2016 from registering players for two transfer windows for breaching FIFA rules over the signing of minors.
They appealed and hoped to see the decision made by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee overturned by the Court of Arbitration, who instead upheld the ban on Thursday and reduced Atletico’s fine from £719,793 to £439,873.
“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.
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Atletico, who also labelled the court ruling as ‘unjust’, will thus be unable to make new signings to the club until January 2018.
“This ruling is unfair and causes an irreparable damage to our club,” the statement read.
Atletico added that the decision amounts to “comparative disadvantage and discriminatory treatment” of the club, given rivals Real Madrid will now be able to sign players in the transfer window that starts on 1 July.
The decision will affect the transfer plans of Atletico and other clubs. For instance, Chelsea’s Diego Costa, who have been linked with a move to the La Liga side will not happen, and a move for Antoine Griezmann is also impossible.