Atlético Madrid have reported Barcelona to football's governing body FIFA over illegal contact made to star forward Antoine Griezmann, Atlético club sources confirmed on Tuesday.
Barcelona could face another transfer ban
"The complaint has been presented for repeated contact between Barcelona, the player and his team," an Atlético source said.
Griezmann renewed his contract until 2022 in June and Atletico consider contact made by Barcelona not only breaks FIFA's rules, but could also affect the integrity of LaLiga. Barcelona lead the league with Atletico their closest challengers six points behind in second.
"He is a player under a long contract and this can't happen. Moreover, the club considers that it could affect the competition where Barca are currently top and Atlético second," added the Atletico source.
Barca were slapped with a one-year transfer ban for the illegal recruitment of foreign minors by FIFA that was served in 2015. Should the Catalan giants be found guilty, they could be handed another ban on registering new players.
'We can confirm that we have received a complaint from Atletico de Madrid concerning the said matter,' a FIFA spokesperson told AFP.
Atlético Madrid are set to report FC Barcelona to world football's governing body Fifa for their overtures towards French striker Antoine Griezmann.
Repeated contact with Griezmann
The complaint comes in response to the statements made on Sunday by Guillermo Amor:
“If that’s what the paper says [re contact] then it’s the case. It is possible there has been an approach and that some progress has been made.
"It’s work the club is normally accustomed to doing. In the football world it’s inevitable that people talk about players. It’s something that tends to happen,” said the Barça director of institutional relations.
This came on the back of Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo reporting that there had already been contact between Josep María Bartomeu and the player's representatives.
Atletico and Barça relationship
The displeasure at Atlético over this situation is huge and not even the good relationship between Gil Marín and Bartomeu has been able to prevent the rojiblancos taking this action. On Monday morning, while Atlético shareholders and board members met, it was this topic that formed much of the discussion. Although accepted that it was not an easy decision to follow this path, they finally agreed to do so.
This is not the first time that the Catalan club has come under fire recently for allegedly making an approach to a player under contract with another club. Brazilian side Gremio have shown their disapproval over attempts to lure their rising star Arthur to the Camp Nou.