Photo: FC Barcelona
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has fined the Royal Spanish Soccer Federation, or RFEF, and FC Barcelona 500,000 Swiss francs ($565,000) and 450,000 Swiss francs ($508,000), respectively, for infractions related to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
The sanctions were handed down after an investigation conducted by FIFA Transfer Matching System GmbH into several “minor players who were registered and participated in competitions with the club over various periods between 2009 and 2013,” FIFA said Wednesday.
Article 19 of FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players states that international transfers of players are only allowed if the individual is 18 or older; exceptions may be granted but only after evaluation by the sub-committee of the Players’ Status Committee.
“FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of Article 19 of the Regulations in the case of 10 minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players,” FIFA said.
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee found the infringements to be serious and has slapped Barça with a transfer ban at the national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods.
It also fined the club, one of soccer’s most glamorous teams with a group of superstars led by four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, 450,000 Swiss francs.
The Spanish-league powerhouse was given a period of 90 days to regularize the situation of all minor players concerned.
The committee also found the RFEF in breach of the same article and other provisions related to the transfer and initial registration of certain minor players and fined the federation 500,000 Swiss francs.
The federation has one year to regularize its regulatory framework and existing system governing the international transfer of minor players.
Soccer’s world governing body also issued a reprimand to the RFEF and FC Barcelona under Article 14 of its Disciplinary Code.