FIFA on Wednesday handed Barcelona a transfer window ban that will last for two straight transfer periods after its Disciplinary Committee found defending La Liga champion and Spain’s soccer association (RFEF) guilty of breaching its rules governing international transfers for players under 18. FIFA also imposed a fine on Barca worth $508,000. It did not say when the punishment would begin, however.
In a statement regarding the punishment and fine, the world governing body wrote that it has been investigating the Spanish giant since last year. “The investigations concerned several minor players who were registered and participated in competitions with the club over various periods between 2009 and 2013.”
According to SI.com, international youth transfers can only take place under three situations: 1 -- the player’s parents have moved countries for non-soccer related reasons. 2 -- the move takes place within the European Union and the player is between 16 and 18. 3 -- the player’s home is less than 50 km (31 miles) from the national border being crossed.
Barca, which is expected to appeal the decision, on Wednesday responded to the ban. “We are relaxed. It is a habitual process in which we have 90 days to explain how we signed these players,” a club spokesperson said.