CAS reduces sanctions imposed on Real Madrid in relation to transfer of minors

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (Real Madrid CF) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

The appeal of the Spanish club has been partially upheld. As a consequence, the decision rendered by the FIFA Appeal Committee (FIFA AC) on 8 April 2016 is set aside and replaced by a CAS decision in which the following elements of the FIFA AC decision have been modified: Real Madrid CF is banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for one entire transfer period (previously two); Real Madrid CF is ordered to pay a fine to FIFA of CHF 240,000 (previously CHF 360,000). Finally, the reprimand imposed by FIFA is maintained.

In September 2016, Real Madrid CF filed an appeal at the CAS requesting that the sanctions imposed on it by FIFA for alleged breaches of the FIFA regulations with respect to the registration of a number of minor players be annulled.

At the parties’ request, the arbitration procedure was referred to a Sole Arbitrator, Mr Michele Bernasconi (Switzerland), who conducted an expedited procedure in order to render a decision before the end of December 2016. The Sole Arbitrator heard the parties and their experts at a hearing which took place at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on 14 December 2016.

On the basis of the evidence and arguments submitted by both parties, the Sole Arbitrator reached the conclusion that the FIFA AC decision could only be partially confirmed. The reasoned award, which will be notified to the parties in early 2017, will set out the reasons for the Sole Arbitrator’s decision. In essence, the Sole Arbitrator found that some of the rule violations alleged by FIFA could be upheld, but not all of them. Considering that the infractions committed by Real Madrid CF were less serious and less numerous than argued by the FIFA judiciary bodies, the Sole Arbitrator ruled that the sanctions imposed on Real Madrid CF had to be reduced.

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