The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has defended Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, describing the transfer bans issued to both clubs as ‘medieval’.
Real and Atletico were found guilty of breaching rules over the signing of ‘minor’ (under-18) players from overseas. FIFA has banned them from signing players for the next two transfer windows.
Both clubs have confirmed they will appeal against the ban, although a similar ban was issued to Barcelona in 2014 and their appeal was unsuccessful. Atletico lodged a formal appeal to FIFA’s Appeal Committee on Tuesday. Both clubs will appeal as far as the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary.
Speaking to an audience at a conference in Brussels, Tebas critcised the decision to ban the teams from making transfers. He argued that youth players who arrive from overseas not only receive a great footballing education but are also well looked after by the clubs.
“It is medieval and anachronistic that FIFA punishes Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico for having model academies where the children receive not just a great sporting formation, but also education,” Tebas said.
Tebas said that FIFA should look to change its rules, because at present the clubs are being punished for assisting the development of young players.
“La Liga is against child slavery and trafficking of minors but this has nothing to do with coming to play football at the schools of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Atletico, because it is undoubtable that there they are well looked after,” he added.
“What is needed is to change the rules on youths in a rational way, because what FIFA is doing makes no sense.”