By Tony Attwood
Ever since Barcelona were caught out for their child trafficking activities some people have been poking around Real Madrid to ask if they have been doing the same thing.
It hardly makes a news story that they have said no.
But Real Mad has also recognised that Fifa has asked the Spanish FA (who were found guilty along with Barcelona, but had the good grace to go quietly without going through two ludicrous appeals hearings) for documents relating to the transfers of under 18 year olds to Real Mad during the past five years.
The club has admitted that details of the transfers of 51 under aged players are being looked at, but said most of them were either Spanish nationals, or EU citizens.
But this week Real Madrid signed Martin Odegaard from the Norwegian club Stromsgodset. The problem is that he is 16-years-old and is Norwegian, and thus not covered by the EU free movement regulations. He can move to Real Mad if one of his immediate relatives had a job in Madrid before the transfer.
What really screwed Barcelona was that when they were signing minors from all over the world they were putting them in their own boarding school, which raised the alarm.
And of course the argument has been strongly made that it is not just the fact that Barcelona did this, but that they did it openly in flagrant breach of Fifa rules, and this encouraged fake agents across Africa to be able to persuade poor parents that they should take their children away and place them in Barcelona.
Real Mad don’t run a boarding school and so have always been less high profile than Barcelona over the issue of children. But…
Of course I don’t know if they are guilty or not, but I am glad a further investigation is going on. It means the Spain FA is taking the issue seriously as it attempts to restore its good name in football.
The not always reliable newspaper AS (as in “Cesc boards plane for Barcelona” when he was actually playing for Arsenal), the investigation focuses on two 12 year old children, Manuel Godoy and Fernando Macías.
They came in from Venezuela in 2012 using the “good” offices of the Argentine footballer Miguel Ángel Coira, a former Argentinean footballer who now lives in Spain and runs a football school for young players in Madrid. Godoy has already left Real Mad.
Real’s defence to Fifa is now due, and so we await the next development.
Meanwhile it seems Untold has not been the only site questioning the morality of Barcelona having mention of Qatar on the front of its one-time (until 2011) sacred shirt. The club’s president said they are looking to end the deal because of “social issues”. Which is interesting given the reason why Barcelona can’t sign any players in the entirety of 2015.
The contract with Qatar ends next years and the president said, on the regional radio station, “four years ago we signed for economic reasons… now “other social issues” need to be taken into account.
The current price for ending the sacrosanct is €30m a year,
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