Lausanne - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday backed a one year
transfer ban against Barcelona in a major blow to the Spanish football
The court said in a statement that it had "dismissed" an appeal made
by Barcelona against the ban imposed by FIFA in April for breaching
rules on signing players aged under 18.
Barcelona, who are second behind Real Madrid in La Liga, are banned
from buying players during the transfer window that opens on January 1
and for the summer transfer period before the 2015/16 season. That means
they cannot sign a player until January 2016.
Barcelona were also fined 450 000 Swiss francs. The Spanish federation was also reprimanded by FIFA.
"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," said the statement.
"The FIFA decision is confirmed in full and the sanction remains in force."
The CAS panel promised to give the full reasons for its decision as quickly as possible.
FIFA announced the ban in April this year after an investigation into
several players aged under 18 who were registered and played for
Barcelona between 2009 and 2013. It found that Barcelona and the Spanish
federation were guilty of a "serious" infringement of rules for 10
Barcelona made a first appeal to the FIFA disciplinary committee and
the sanction was suspended enabling them to make major signings such as
Luis Suarez from Liverpool for €95 million.
The club spent more than €150 million in all before FIFA's
appeal committee upheld the ban. Barcelona then went to the CAS and
asked for an emergency procedure so that a decision was announced before
the January transfer window opens.
Barcelona are one point behind Real Madrid but have played one game
more. Atletico Madrid in third place are just three points behind.