The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Barcelona from the transfer market for one year, for breaches of international transfer rules in relation with transfers of non-Spanish minors.
The sanctions follow investigations conducted by FIFA’s Transfer Matching System and subsequently their Disciplinary Committee on the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol (RFEF) and the Catalan club.
The official statement on FIFA’s website reads:
“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.”
FIFA found Barcelona and the RFEF guilty of breaking art. 19 of their Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (Regulations).
“According to art. 19, international transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18,” the statement continues.
“The committee highlighted that while international transfers might, in specific cases, be favourable to a young player’s sporting career, they are very likely to be contrary to the best interests of the player as a minor.
“On the basis of this analysis, the committee concluded that ‘the interest in protecting the appropriate and healthy development of a minor as a whole must prevail over purely sporting interests.’”
“Barcelona has been 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.”
FIFA has sanctioned 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 (R5.4 million).
The club has a period of 90 days respond and “to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned”.