Barca Transfer Ban Upheld By FIFA
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Barcelona have had their appeal against a two-window transfer embargo rejected by FIFA, leaving them unable to sign any new players until January 2016. The Catalans have stated they will now take their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The ban, originally handed down by FIFA in April, relates to an infringement of the rules regarding the transfer of under-18s, specifically from overseas: Barca were found to have registered several players between 2009 and 2013 who breeched those laws.
While the ban may have been upheld, Barcelona’s appeal has already done its job. Back in April, they faced the prospect of having to make do with a squad that was due to lose defender, club captain and Barca legend Carles Puyol - as well as long-term goalkeeper Victor Valdes - at the end of the season. In the time it’s taken FIFA to consider their appeal, during which period the ban was suspended, Barcelona have signed eight players (including two goalkeeper and two defenders, as well as Luis Suarez) and spent north of $200M.
Barcelona have this afternoon released a statement in which they, rather grandly, say they “may not in any way share a resolution that is an affront to the spirit of our Masia (Barca’s youth academy).” Rules are rules, and having broken them (in FIFA’s opinion, at least) Barca then expertly bent them in their favor. A two-window transfer embargo will undoubtedly hurt Barcelona, especially if they suffer injuries to their current squad. But it’s nowhere near as damaging as it would have been before they spent $200m on eight new signings.