Report: Blatter says Madrid, Atletico probed over transfers
MADRID (AP) Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been investigated for similar irregularities that led to Barcelona's ban on registering new players, suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter told Spanish media.
Blatter said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo that FIFA's disciplinary committee has already concluded the probes, but he doesn't know their outcome.
''FIFA's disciplinary committee has opened separate proceedings on Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid for the same infractions committed by FC Barcelona,'' Blatter said in the interview made available online on Wednesday. ''They have been concluded, but I don't know what the sanctions are because they are independent commissions and I'm suspended, I can't even walk inside FIFA.''
Blatter said both teams will likely be sanctioned the same way as Barcelona if they are found guilty of the same irregularities.
''If Barcelona was penalized for violating FIFA's regulations, and the Madrid clubs committed identical irregularities, it would be normal to punish them the same way,'' he said.
Barcelona was handed a one-year ban on signing new players after FIFA concluded it violated rules regulating the transfer of underage players at its lauded soccer academy.
The Catalan club was banned through this year. It can sign new players but can't register them until January.
FIFA said Wednesday that it's ''not in a position to comment on any proceedings that are ongoing.
''No further information can be provided for the time being,'' soccer's world governing body said in a statement.
Blatter also said that ''maybe Barca made a mistake starting a war against FIFA.
''It would have been better to open a dialogue, it's always a better path in football,'' he said.