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Barcelona hit with transfer ban

ESPN staff
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Barcelona hit with transfer ban

Barcelona have been banned from making signings during the next two transfer windows after failing to abide by rules governing transfers of players under 18, FIFA announced on Wednesday.

FIFA carried out an investigation last year and found the Spanish football federation (RFEF) and the club guilty of several violations in relation to rules governing international transfers and registering foreign players.

A statement issued by the world governing body read: "The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol (RFEF) and Spanish club FC Barcelona for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

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

It added: "FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of 10 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 [£306,000]. Additionally, the club was granted a period of 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned."

FIFA also punished the RFEF with a fine amounting to £340,000 for violating article 19.

The statement added: "The RFEF was sanctioned with 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."

Both the RFEF and the club were also reprimanded.

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