The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) ruling to cut Real Madrid’s FIFA-imposed sanction down from two transfer windows to one has caused surprise in Barcelona.
"The lawyers have some explaining to do" - Bartomeu
“The lawyers have some explaining to do, because the ones who defended Real Madrid are the same ones who defended Barcelona. But with them they’ve won the case and with us they lost it,” said Barcelona president, Josep María Bartomeu in reference to Catalan law firm, Pintó & Ruiz del Valle.
Madrid heeded FIFA's warnings
According to legal sources close to CAS, the reason for the court’s decision to uphold Barça’s transfer ban and lower Real Madrid’s is mainly due to the fact that from the moment Los Blancos were warned by FIFA, the club regularised the situation of its young players (whose irregular statuses had caused the sanction), while Barça did not.
Barcelona were originally investigated by football’s governing body after an anonymous report made by the Korean player, Lee Seug Woo. The Catalan entity however ignored FIFA, who had repeatedly asked for explanations. In the end, a further probe uncovered nine other youth footballers who’s transfers had breached the body’s regulations.
Barcelona ignored governing body
Madrid, by contrast, diligently saw to the requirement to repair the irregularities within the 90 day period that was granted by FIFA after the sanction had been handed down. It is due to this factor that the punishment was reduced.
Put simply, Madrid complied with this principle of legality and Barcelona did not. Real Madrid’s willingness to remedy their mistakes has allowed for their penalty to be softened, while Barcelona, in failing to do so, could not present mitigating evidence before CAS, leading to their punishment being maintained.