Barcelona unable to sign players until January 2016 as FIFA upholds transfer ban

Catalan club set to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Image: Miquel Llop/CORDON/Press Association Images

BARCELONA WILL NOT be able to sign any new players until January 2016 after world football’s governing body FIFA rejected an appeal over a transfer ban imposed for breaching rules on underage players.

The Catalan giants will be banned from the national and international market for two consecutive transfer windows, starting in January 2015, FIFA said.

Barcelona immediately announced they will appeal to sports’ highest court after FIFA’s verdict, a decision the club described as an “affront” to its youth training academy.

“FC Barcelona announces that it shall continue defending its interests before the highest sporting authority, in this case the Court of Arbitration for Sport”, the club said in a statement.

The club said they disagreed with FIFA’s decision to maintain a suspension on transfers as a penalty for breaking the rules on transfers of minors, fiercely defending the ideals of its renowned youth academy, La Masia.

“FC Barcelona may not in any way share a resolution that is an affront to the spirit of our Masia, a world renowned example of academic, human and sporting education,” Barcelona said.

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Barcelona can continue to sign players until the end of the current summer transfer window, but will not then be able to recruit any new players in the next two windows, in January and next summer.

FIFA initially handed out the ban in April but it was temporarily suspended when Barcelona lodged their appeal. During that suspension, the club signed a litany of players including Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Thomas Vermaelen, Claudio Bravo, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Jeremy Mathieu.

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