MADRID (AP) — The transfer bans imposed by FIFA on Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been temporarily suspended until the appeals process is finalized, the soccer's world governing body said Friday.
FIFA confirmed that its appeals committee granted the clubs relief from the sanctions.
The decision comes two weeks after both clubs were banned from registering new players for two transfer windows for breaching rules involving underage players. The bans would only take effect at the start of the next summer window, so they could still be imposed pending the outcome of the appeals process.
Real Madrid and Atletico announced FIFA's decision with brief statements on their websites. Both teams have denied wrongdoing regarding the registering of underage players.
Atletico Madrid said that in its appeal it "stated that (the) club did not agree with the sanctioning resolution and ... considered that (it) had acted within the law in all cases."
If they lose the appeals, the Spanish clubs won't be allowed to register anyone until after the 2016-17 season. The teams can reach agreements to buy players but cannot register them to play until then.
FIFA also issued reprimands and fined both clubs. The governing body had said the clubs "violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of minor players."
Barcelona served a similar sanction for 2015 after stalling the transfer ban to enable them to sign players in the 2014 window. The Catalan club signed players such as Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal after the ban took effect again, but couldn't register them until last month.