Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will not be able to sign players over the next two transfer windows, after FIFA rejected their appeals. Football's governing body had imposed bans on the two Spanish clubs for breaching rules on signing minors outside of Spain.
Barcelona had been given a similar ban recently, and while the latest one, on the other two big clubs in Spain, were imposed in January, both Real and Atletico decided to appeal. That allowed the two Madrid teams to sign players in the summer transfer window, which shut on Aug.31, but neither will be able to make any additions to their squad in 2017.
"The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by Spanish clubs Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid and to confirm in their entirety the decisions rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors," FIFA said in a statement.
"As such, both clubs are to serve a transfer ban that prevents them from registering any players at national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods.
"The transfer ban applies to each club as a whole, and does not prevent the release of players."
Atletico Madrid were also fined 900,000 Swiss francs, while Real Madrid were asked to pay 360,000 Swiss francs.
Real Madrid, again, denied any wrongdoing, and revealed they would be appealing the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"The club regrets said decision, understanding it to be deeply unjust and contrary to the fundamental principles of disciplinary law," Real Madrid said in a statement.
"The club will begin the appropriate appeals procedure before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), requesting that the decision be completely overturned, with absolute confidence that said organisation will come to an entirely favourable decision.
"Real Madrid CF will request that the procedure be undertaken in an urgent manner in order to obtain a decision from the CAS as quickly as possible."
Atletico Madrid also said they will also be taking the case with CAS. "Our club does not agree with the ruling, so it has decided to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport," a statement said.
"Our organisation wishes to express that 100 percent of the licenses of our players that are part of this investigation and are still in the club, have been regularised by FIFA, receiving the authorisation from the subcommittee in order to process their licenses and compete in their different categories."