SPORT

Arbitration court upholds FC Barcelona’s ban on new signings

FIFA had found that soccer team violated rules regarding transfer of juvenile players

Barça's soccer academy, La Masia.
Barça's soccer academy, La Masia.Rodolfo Molina (DIARIO AS)

FC Barcelona soccer club will not be able to sign any new players in 2015 after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced Tuesday that it was upholding a ban issued by FIFA against the soccer club for violating rules regarding the transfer of players younger than 18 years of age.

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FC Barcelona, presided by Josep María Bartomeu, had appealed FIFA’s ruling in the hopes that the CAS would either throw it out or simply restrict the players they could sign in the summer.

The final FIFA ruling, which was handed down on August 19, stated that Barça cannot sign any players next summer nor during the transfer window, which begins on January 1.

The soccer club was found guilty of breaking the rules that govern the protection and registration of minors attending football academies. The investigations dealt with several minors registered at the club who took part in tournaments with the team over a number of seasons between 2009 and 2013, it said.

FIFA had temporarily lifted the ban as a precautionary measure last summer, which enabled the soccer club to sign Uruguayan Luis Suárez, among other players, for a total of €170 million. Barcelona will only be able to renew existing players’ contracts or bring in players from its B team.

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