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No signings in 2015: Barcelona’s transfer ban upheld, FIFA rejects appeal

Aug 20, 2014, 8:28 AM EDT

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Barcelona have be banned from singing any new players until January 2016, as their FIFA ban has now been rubber stamped.

The Spanish giants were originally sanctioned last summer for breaking transfer rules over signing international players under the age of 18. Barca denied the charge from FIFA and appealed against it.

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That appeal has finally be thrown out after an entire year of world soccer’s governing body mulling over the evidence, but the Catalan club have already declared their intent to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as they aim to fight the hefty fine, transfer ban and stigma attached to it. Their famed La Masia academy is at the center of this scandal, as the Spanish FA have also been sanctioned by FIFA for failing to watch Barcelona’s actions closer.

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The ban kicks in from the next transfer window, January 2015, and runs for an entire year until January 2016. In a statement on their website on Wednesday, FIFA had the following to say.

The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to reject the appeals lodged by Spanish club FC Barcelonaand the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) and to confirm in their entirety the decisionsrendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors.

As such, FC Barcelona is to serve a transfer ban which will see the club prevented from registering any players at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, starting with the next registration period (January 2015) given that the appeal of the club had beengranted suspensive effect by the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee. FC Barcelona has also been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 450,000 and been given a period of 90 days from today in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.

Meanwhile, the RFEF has been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 500,000 and granted a period of one year in which to regularise their regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football.

The terms of the decisions taken by the FIFA Appeal Committee were communicated to FC Barcelonaand the RFEF today.

This ban, and the likelihood they would have to serve it, has obviously been on the minds of Barcelona this summer as they wheeled and dealed in the transfer market.

In came Luis Suarez for $128 million, plus two new goalkeeper in Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, defenders Thomas Vermaelen and JeremyMatheiu, plus midfielder Ivan Rakitic. Barca knew this was coming and signed on those six players this summer to bolster Luis Enrique’s squad.

[RELATED: Barcelona reveal record income levels ]

Technically they are still allowed to sign any players they want during the current transfer window, so will we see Barca stock up on talent over the next two weeks?

As it stands, no new players will be arriving at the Nou Camp between September 2014 and January 2016. I suppose they will have to do with Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar until 2016…

  1. renhoekk2 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Strange. I suppose I don’t understand how the signing of U18 players can be a crime against sport. I would think most of the kids they signed were lining up to get into the Barca Academy and want to be there. It’s not like they are kidnapping kids of the street and forcing them to attend. What exactly did they do that was illegal?

    • joe.ferreira - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      i guess it is just the way they found out to keep a “balance” between the teams. I don’t think it really works well.

  2. teamperkins11 - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    It was FIFA’s duty to institute this ban, they cannot tolerate any sort of corruption or violation of rules. Signing players under 18>taking million dollar bribes on the FIFA ethical chart

    • mikeevergreen - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      LOL!

  3. waheedoo2 - Aug 21, 2014 at 5:21 AM

    All is well.

  4. mikeevergreen - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Wait a munite here. How is signing Marc-Andre Ter Stegen classified as “stocking up on talent?” He gives up own goals to Americans!

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