Barcelona's appeal against transfer ban dismissed by Court of Arbitration of Sport
Club found guilty of breaching FIFA rules on the transfer of players under 18
Barcelona says it could make fresh appeal
Barcelona says the transfer ban placed on the club is “disproportionate” and “excessive.”
The Catalan club hit back on Tuesday after losing its appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) following the decision to ban it from being able to sign new players over the next 12 months.
CAS stated that Barcelona was guilty of breaching FIFA rules on signing minors and confirmed that the club would be unable to add to its squad during the next two transfer windows.
“The Panel found in particular that FC Barcelona had breached the rules regarding the protection of minors and the registration of minors attending football academies. Accordingly, the FIFA decision is confirmed in full and the sanction remains in force,” a CAS statement read.
Barcelona, which was also fined $455,000, said it “totally disagrees” with the verdict and will now study the different legal options at its disposal including the Swiss Federal Courts.
In a statement, Barcelona said that it “understands and supports the policy on the protection of minors and the concern for the protection of their development and education.”
It added: “This is confirmed by how the club has acted throughout its history, setting an example around the world for the way its young footballers are schooled and educated, and the work that is done on their development. FC Barcelona’s youth structure has enabled hundreds of young players to achieve their dreams and receive a decent upbringing.
“The errors that the club might have committed, and which have been recognized and argued before the corresponding authorities are, in all cases, of an administrative nature and to a large extent have been caused by the existing conflict between the FIFA regulations and Spanish legislation, along with the club’s conviction that it was acting correctly.
“Therefore, FC Barcelona considers the sanction to be completely disproportionate as it supposes an excessive punishment for the club, when considering its trajectory and the circumstances of this specific case.”
Barcelona has one of the most famous and successful academies in the game with young players from all over the world learning their trade with the club.
“La Masia” as it is known, has helped produced talents such as Lionel Messi, who arrived from Argentina at the age of 11.
The ruling comes after an investigation found the club had broken regulations regarding the transfer of young players from outside Spain.
FIFA’s investigation focused on several players aged under 18 who were registered and played for the club between 2009 and 2013.
Under FIFA laws, clubs are not allowed to sign international players under the age of 18 unless the player is moving within the European Union, is aged between 16 and 18 and moving with their parents or the club and the player both live within 50 kilometers of a shared national border.
Barcelona was originally handed a 14-month ban in April but launched an appeal to FIFA, world football’s governing body which was rejected in August.
But the decision to appeal to CAS meant Barcelona was allowed to complete a number of signings in the intervening period.
Barcelona splashed out a reported $128.5 million to sign Uruguay international Luis Suarez from Liverpool.
Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen was brought in from Arsenal for $30m while French defender Jeremy Mathieu and Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo also arrived at Camp Nou.
Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla joined Barca for a fee of $23.9m with the club also paying $3m to Dinamo Zagreb for Alen Halilovic.
Luis Enrique’s side currently sits second in La Liga, one point behind fierce rival Real Madrid.