- La Liga
Barcelona transfer ban suspended
FIFA has temporarily suspended the transfer ban handed to Barcelona meaning the club will be able to buy players this summer, pending an appeal.
Earlier in April, Barcelona were banned by FIFA from signing any players for two consecutive transfer windows after being found guilty of repeatedly breaching transfer regulations.
The Liga club confirmed their intention to appeal the ban, citing the club's La Masia youth facilities, and on Wednesday FIFA announced the punishment is on hold, pending the appeal.
Barca have already agreed to sign Croatia international Alen Halilovic this summer, with a deal also reportedly in place to bring in Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen.
In March, president Josep Maria Bartomeu had also spoken about a €120 million "war chest" being available for signings, while even more could now be spent considering the widely acknowledged need for a squad shake-up following recent disappointments in the Champions League, Copa del Rey and La Liga.
Those plans look now to be allowed to progress following FIFA's statement released Wednesday morning which said the ban was being temporarily lifted while any appeals were being heard.
"The club FC Barcelona has lodged an appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee that sanctioned the club for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18," the statement said.
"Together with the appeal, the club requested that its appeal be granted suspensive effect. In this respect, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee, Larry Mussenden, took into consideration the sanctions imposed against the club, the complexity of the matter, the start date of the next registration period - July 1, 2014 - and the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee does not seem in a position to take a decision on the main issue early enough so that an eventual appeal of the club against its decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport would still be decided before the beginning of the next registration period.
"Consequently, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect. In view of the foregoing, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee assures that proper and adequate appeal proceedings will take place and, at the same time, that all rights of the club will be respected."
Earlier this week, Mundo Deportivo reported that Blaugrana chief Bartomeu is to meet with FIFA president Sepp Blatter in Switzerland to discuss the appeal on May 6.
Bartomeu has also stated that sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta will remain in place and oversee the club's planning this summer - when a new centre-half and another goalkeeper are expected to be targeted.
Young Athletic Bilbao centre-half Aymeric Laporte has featured heavily in speculation in the local media, with Napoli keeper Pepe Reina - currently on loan from Liverpool - is rumoured to be a target as experienced competition for Ter Stegen.