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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FIFA Targets Real Madrid

STOCKHOLM -- Real Madrid could face heavy punishment from FIFA for failing to release a Slovakian player for international duty in a case viewed by world soccer's governing body as deliberate cheating.


The International Football Federation is likely to make an example out of the Spanish giants in an attempt to curb the growing trend of wealthy clubs refusing to let players go on international duty.


FIFA is angry that Real Madrid blocked clearance for its young Slovakian striker Peter Dubovsky to play for his country in a European championship qualifier against France earlier this month on their debut in a major championship.


Real held Dubovsky back, claiming he was injured.


But FIFA technical director Walter Gagg said Dubovsky played the weekend before the international and three days after, and had told his international coach, Jozef Venglos, he wanted to play.