Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Barcelona's Neymar celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during a first leg quarterfinal Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday April 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Soccer: Barcelona banned from signing players for 1 year
First Published Apr 02 2014 09:53 am • Last Updated Apr 03 2014 04:45 pm

FIFA banned Barcelona from signing any players for one year on Wednesday because of repeated transfer rules violations.

The sanction, which covers the summer and January transfer windows, followed an investigation into the Spanish champion’s signing of players under age 18 from 2009-13.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

FIFA also fined Barcelona $509,000 after discovering the signing of 10 unnamed players breached its rules covering the protection of minors. Barcelona has 90 days "to regularize the situation of all minor players concerned."

The punishment prevents Barcelona from signing players until the summer of 2015 and leaves in limbo recent agreements with Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Croatian teenager Alen Halilovic to join the club in July.

The Spanish champion hasn’t commented on the sanctions and can appeal.

FIFA found the Spanish Football Federation also violated the rules covering the registration of minors and issued a fine of $565,500.

FIFA stressed the "interest in protecting the appropriate and healthy development of a minor as a whole must prevail over purely sporting interests."

"The disciplinary committee emphasized that the protection of minors in the context of international transfers is an important social and legal issue that concerns all stakeholders in football," FIFA said in a statement. "Above all, the committee highlighted that while international transfers might, in specific cases, be favorable to a young player’s sporting career, they are very likely to be contrary to the best interests of the player as a minor."

Spanish reports highlighted the signing of South Korea player Lee Seung Woo as one of the principle infractions, with FIFA having already warned the Catalan club about the 16-year-old’s inclusion in youth matches.

The club potentially needs to sign a replacement goalkeeper, with Victor Valdes out of contract and ruled out for seven months this week following knee surgery.

story continues below
story continues below

The Catalan soccer institution is owned by its members and prides itself as being "more than a club." It’s also dealing with fallout from last year’s signing of the 22-year-old Neymar.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, who abruptly quit in January, is challenging a lawsuit that alleges he misappropriated funds by hiding the real cost of Neymar’s signing from Brazilian club Santos.

In February, Barcelona $18.6 million to Spanish tax authorities to cover any potential irregularities of the transfer, while maintaining its innocence of fraud charges.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.