Barcelona’s Court of Arbitration for Sport Appeal (CAS) was rejected this morning, which means that they will not be allowed to make any signings this year- winter and summer. They released a statement which said ‘”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 (articles 19 and 19bis of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players). Accordingly, the FIFA decision is confirmed in full and the sanction remains in force.”
The La Liga giants were handed the initial ban by FIFA after being found guilty of signing underage players from outside of Spain. They had naturally appealed to overturn this decision so as to be allowed to make purchases in 2015 but CAS has returned its verdict on Tuesday explaining that they found no grounds to overturn Fifa’s decision, thereby confirming Barca’s ban. FIFA had rejected the club’s appeal back in August as well.
The decision means that Luis Enrique will not be allowed to strengthen his team in the January transfer window or in the summer at the end of the current campaign. The club strengthened considerably in the summer with the arrivals of Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic among others, because they appealed the ban and it was in the process of getting a verdict. Enrique’s side has not put on an exceptional show in the league and going by the way things stand currently, it won’t be a surprise if Real Madrid run away with trophies as they are in scintillating touch and can make additions if they need to. Even if Enrique and co. weren’t going to make very many additions this January, they would definitely be looking at transfers in the summer transfer window, and hence this ban would be a huge blow
But Barcelona bosses have released a statement on Tuesday morning confirming their dismay at the decision, which affects them severely.
“FC Barcelona wishes to state, with all due respect for the sports authorities, that it totally disagrees with the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced today to confirm the sanction originally imposed by FIFA as a consequence of the alleged breach of regulations on the international transfer of minor footballers.
“The Club has made it clear to the FIFA Disciplinary Commission, the FIFA Appeals Commission and the CAS itself that it understands and supports the policy on the protection of minors and the concern for the protection of their development and education.
“This is confirmed by how they Club has acted throughout its history, setting an example around the world for the way its young footballers are schooled and educated, and the work that is done on their development. FC Barcelona’s youth structure has enabled hundreds of young players to achieve their dreams and receive a decent upbringing.
“The errors that the Club might have committed, and which have been recognised and argued before the corresponding authorities are, in all cases, of an administrative nature and to a large extent have been caused by the existing conflict between the FIFA regulations and Spanish legislation, along with the Club’s conviction that it was acting correctly.
“Therefore, FC Barcelona considers the sanction to be completely disproportionate as it supposes an excessive punishment for the Club, when considering its trajectory and the circumstances of this specific case.”
Barcelona will only now be allowed to add to their squad from January 2016.