Real Madrid Reportedly Under FIFA Investigation over Transfers of Minors
Real Madrid are reportedly under FIFA investigation to determine whether they have illegally signed minors.
Spanish publication AS claims to have access to "strictly confidential" documents, reported by Joaquin Maroto. An image of the alleged documents was also tweeted on the newspaper's social feed (click to enlarge):
Fifa is currently compiling information and documentation in order to adequately evaluate this matter. At the moment, a formal disciplinary procedure has not been opened. We cannot provide any further information at this stage.
Maroto claims FIFA is working to determine whether Madrid have breached Article 19 of the Regulations on the Transfer of Players regarding the Protection of Minors.
It is suggested the governing body has requested documentation from the Spanish Football Federation for under-18 signings Madrid have brought in from their feeder clubs. Maroto suggests Madrid are known to sign an agreement with surrounding teams, which ensures LosBlancos can include players of "every age" in their squads "as the club chooses."
Maroto provided the details of reported exchanges between FIFA and the European champions:
In the letter, dated 17 December, sent to the Spanish Federation, Kimberly Morris, Head of Integrity and Compliance at FIFA, asked for the information about the players to be provided before 14 January. Jorge Perez, the Federation's secretary general, passed the request to the clubs 48 hours later. According to sources consulted by this newspaper, Madrid's lawyers have examined the documents sent to Zurich.
Such an investigation could spell major punishment if Madrid are found guilty of signing youngsters in a manner which doesn't comply with FIFA's protection rules.
Barcelona were recently handed a 14-month transfer ban—two complete windows—for the illicit signing of minors. The Catalan club's appeal was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a decision which FCB labelled "excessive," per BBC Sport.
Madrid recently signed Mink Peeters and Martin Odegaard, two 16-year-old stars. Both are expected to become world-class players—enjoying previous experience at Ajax and Stromsgodset, respectively—so it's unclear whether their captures could potentially breach FIFA's rules.
Maroto suggests Barcelona's case was kicked into life after "anonymous tip-offs," something Madrid Vice-President Pedro Lopez Jimenez denied being involved with. It is also indicated the reported investigation into Los Blancos comes after an unknown source prompted things into motion.
Official confirmation is yet to be provided for any of this, but Madrid will be keen to clear their name in the near future.