FC Barcelona will be banned from conducting activity in two transfer windows with FIFA sanctioning the club for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players aged under 18.
FIFA revealed on Wednesday that the sanction comes as the result of an investigation taking place over the past year by the FIFA Transfer Matching System GmbH (FIFA TMS), with the case eventually handed over to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
The Spanish football association - the RFEF - has also been hit with a sanction from FIFA, with world football’s governing body imposing a fine of €500,000 after they were also found to have ‘violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of non-Spanish minors’.
Barcelona have specifically been found to be in breach of art. 19 of Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, which states that the transfer of players can only occur if they are aged over 18. The Catalan club were found to have committed offences with regards to 10 minor players.
FIFA have placed both a national and international sanction on Barcelona, whereby they will be barred from making transfers in two consecutive periods. Barcelona have also been fined €450,000.
Barcelona had been expected to act significantly in the transfer window this summer, with the club seemingly in need of new recruits in central defence. David Luiz of Chelsea has been mentioned as a targets, as has Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels.
More pressing, however, is the acquisition of a new goalkeeper to replace Victor Valdes - who is able to leave on a free transfer - and, although it has been widely reported that Barcelona already have an agreement to sign Marc-André ter Stegen, it is unclear if they will be prevented from concluding it.