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FIFA impose transfer ban on Spanish giants Barcelona over signing of U18's foreign players

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Spanish Champions Barcelona have been handed an 14 month transfer ban after a FIFA investigation.

The club will not be allowed to sign any domestic or international players for the next two transfer windows, meaning they cannot buy players until the summer transfer window in 2015.

The charges relate to numerous foreign signings for Barca's infamous youth system, with the Spanish FA also being charged for failing to follow FIFA regulations.

On FIFA's official website, a statement read:

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) and Spanish club FC Barcelona for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18."

The sanctions follow investigations initially conducted by FIFA Transfer Matching System GmbH (FIFA TMS) over the course of last year and subsequently by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee as part of disciplinary proceedings.

The RFEF and FC Barcelona were found to have violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of non-Spanish minors with the club, as well as other relevant regulations with regard to the registration and participation of certain players in national competitions.

The investigations concerned several minor players who were registered and participated in competitions with the club over various periods between 2009 and 2013."

According to FIFA regulations, international transfers can only take place if the player in question is over 18, but there certain circumstances where an underage player can be transferred, subject to an 'evaluation by the sub-committee of the Player's Status Committee'.

Young players can be inter­nati­onal­ly transferred should the committee find that it would not have an adverse effect on the minor's life, as a young person,­ essentially “the interest in protecting the appropriate and healthy development of a minor as a whole must prevail over purely sporting interests.”

The statement continued: "FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of ten minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players, including under Annexe 2 of the Regulations."

"The Disciplinary Committee regarded the infringements as serious and decided to sanction the club with a transfer ban at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, together with a fine of CHF 450,000. Additionally, the club was granted a period of 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned."

Barcelona last night played out a 1-1 draw with title rivals Athletico Madrid in their Champions League Quarter final first leg, with Neymar, who has been subject to scandal over his transfer, scoring Barca's goal.

 

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