Atletico Madrid at CAS to fight FIFA transfer ban

LAUSANNE: Atletico Madrid officials were at sport's highest court on Monday to challenge a FIFA transfer ban that prevents the club from signing any players in the coming offseason.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is hearing the appeal, but said a verdict is not expected immediately.

Atletico and FIFA previously agreed to seek a CAS verdict by June, before the summer trading period opens.

FIFA imposed a one-year ban on registering new players as punishment for Atletico breaking rules introduced to prevent child trafficking and luring youngsters from their home country.

Atletico denies wrongdoing, though it agreed not to sign players in January while its appeal went ahead.

By appealing to FIFA against the original ban last year, Atletico was able to delay it taking effect last offseason when the club completed the signings of forward Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro, and midfielder Nicolas Gaitan.

Spain's soccer federation has been criticized for its role in player registrations, with Barcelona and Real Madrid also having served FIFA transfer bans.

Barcelona served a one-year transfer ban in 2015 and Real Madrid was barred from signing players in January this year.

In another appeal case involving FIFA, CAS confirmed Monday that the world soccer body's former vice president for Asia, Chung Mong-joon, appealed against a five-year ban for unethical conduct.

Chung was a prospective FIFA presidential candidate in 2015 when a FIFA ethics committee case against him was detailed for not cooperating with an investigation arising from the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests.

Chung, a son of the founder of South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate, said this month it was "malicious behavior" by FIFA's judicial bodies to stall his appeal process by several months.