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Barcelona to appeal FIFA transfer ban

ESPN staff
April 2, 2014 « LIVE: PSG v Chelsea | Test Wayin World Cup »
FIFA bans Barcelona from transfer windows

Barcelona will appeal an imposed ban by FIFA preventing the club from making signings for two consecutive transfer windows after failing to abide by rules governing transfers of players under 18.

Club officials said they would appeal the heavy sanction, which covers the summer and January transfer windows and followed an investigation into the Spanish champions' signing of players under the age of 18 from 2009-13.

"FCB will present the corresponding appeal to FIFA and if necessary will submit the resulting resolution to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS]," the statement said.

FIFA found the signing of 10 unnamed players to be in breach of its rules covering the protection of minors. A fine of CHF 450,000 [£306,000] was also imposed on Barcelona, which was given 90 days "to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned."

The Spanish Football Federation was also found by the world governing body to have violated the rules covering the registration of minors and fined CHF 500,000 [£340,000].

Further details of the case were not provided, but Barcelona said in February 2013 that FIFA had sent a communication instructing it not to select six players who are under 18 for its youth matches - South Korea's Lee Seung Woo, Paik Seung-Ho and Jang Gyeolhee, Theo Chendri of France, Nigerian-Dutchman Bobby Adekanye and Patrice Sousia of Cameroon.

The international transfer of players under the age of 18 can only go through if their parents move to the country for non-football reasons. Players between 16 and 18 can move within Europe if certain standards of education and living conditions are met.

The punishment, which prevents Barcelona from signing any players until the summer of 2015, leaves recent agreements with Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Croatian teenager Alen Halilovic to join the club in July in limbo.

In its resolution on Wednesday, Barcelona said: "All of the players at FCB have always had their federation licenses up to date. Every one at all times. No player has any administrative irregularity."

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