FIFA slams 14-month transfer ban on Barca for signing under-18 international players

London, Apr 3: FIFA has reportedly issued a 14-month transfer ban on Spanish giants Barcelona for breaking rules on signing international players under the age of 18.

The La Liga side has also been fined 305,000 pounds and has confirmed they will appeal, while the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has also been sanctioned by the world football governing body for the same breaches and fined 340,000 pounds.

According to the BBC, the Catalan club, which is hoping to sign a new goalkeeper at the end of the season following the exit of the long-serving Victor Valdes, cannot buy players until the summer of 2015, although they are still allowed to sell players.

The report mentioned that any appeal against the ban must be lodged within three days and is not likely to be heard until April, although if the case reaches the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), then there is a possibility that the club could still sign players this summer if the ban is not imposed until a final decision is made.

The four-time European champions have been linked with Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while they agreed a deal to sign 17-year-old Croatia midfielder Alen Halilovic last week.

FIFA rules state that international transfers are only permitted for players over the age of 18 – unless the player in question meets one of three qualifying criteria: if their parents move there for non-footballing reasons, if they are from another nation within the European Union and aged between 16 and 18, or if they live within 100km of the club. (ANI)