Barcel-Owe Ya! Taxes Controversy Is Followed By Transfer Ban

Published: Apr 03, 2014 13:27pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 03, 2014 @ 01:36pm EDT


If there was a chance for Manchester City to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona it will now have to be put back until 2015 after the Spanish champions were today slapped with a 14 month transfer ban due to breach of FIFA regulations. So for the next two transfer windows the Catalan club will not be able to dip into the market until the summer of 2015.

FIFA are very strict on their rules regarding the transfer of under 18's Internationally and it is a breach of these particular rules for which the club have fallen foul. Both the club and the Spanish Football Federation have also been fined and wrapped across the knuckles. $488,000 for Barcelona and about $560,000 for the Federation is clearly peanuts to both, but in conjunction with the ban, does send a message. In a statement from FIFA the Spanish Federation has been told it has one year in order to ‘regularize its regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football’.

The rules do state quite clearly that international transfers are only allowed for players over the age of 18 unless they meet one of a set of criteria. In today’s ruling it has been stated that Barcelona has been found in breach of this rule for 10 players.

It is quite likely that the club will appeal this decision, as did Chelsea a few seasons back. Chelsea were successful in overturning their sanctions but as yet we have no details on the players in question and so therefore cannot make a great deal of comment either way.

It may be that Barcelona has one of the three conditions covered with each and every one of the players in question. The three exceptions are that 1) the player lives 100km (62 miles) away from the club, 2) The country they are from is located in the European Union and they are between 16 and 18 or 3) The parents of the player have moved to the country, but it has to be a non football reason.

Any appeal must be made within three days and so I am sure FC Barcelona are already preparing their case. If they fail with that then there is always the Court of Arbitration for Sport which could hear the case. As a result the ban would not be imposed until that decision was final.

This is the last thing the club needed with the dust still not fully settled on the Neymar case earlier on this year. As you may remember the Catalan club were accused of tax evasion and, although they made a ‘voluntary contribution’ of $17 million in taxes a criminal case is still ongoing.


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