Barcelona have been dealt another bitter blow by the powers that be, the game's governing body FIFA, and the latest shot across the bows hasn't been well received.
Not content with imposing an 18-month transfer ban on the club and refusing Barca's young academy starlets to play in official matches, FIFA have tightened their grip on the Catalans.
A directive has now been handed down to the club that those players for whom the ban originally related will no longer be able to train at the club's La Masia facilities. For young 16-year-old Cameroonian Patrice Sousia, the situation is even more dire.
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FIFA won't even allow the players to reside at La Masia any longer, effectively rendering Sousia homeless.
Unlike the other graduates, for example American Ben Lederman who moved with his entire family to Catalonia, Sousia moved alone, his parents unable to afford to migrate to Barcelona to be with their son.
Surely, placing such an imposition on a 16-year-old is above and beyond FIFA's powers? An abuse of it if you prefer.
Sepp Blatter and his cronies have eulogised enough times that FIFA are a forward-thinking organisation who have the games best interests at heart. This latest twist in the Barca saga flies in the face of such verbosity.
The Catalans have been placed in an impossible position, even though initially it has been of their own making.
Lederman has had to move back home to California with no possibility of playing for the club for at least another year. As have Takefusa Kubo and others.
Sousia has been one of the lucky ones. Team-mate Alex Collado and his family will put the youngster up at their home for as long as is necessary. Collado's brother's team will allow Sousia to train with them.
Once he is old enough, and assuming that the quality is still there, the likelihood is that he can resume duties at La Masia.
If the time spent away from an elite environment takes away his edge, then Barca will wash their hands. Football is the cruellest of unforgiving games at times. The treatment of all of the players can be explained in FIFA Article 19.
Sports lawyers, who have been instructed to find a loophole have advised that the likelihood of a claim succeeding is virtually nil. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has effectively backed FIFA leaving any disgruntled players and parents with nowhere to go.
NO COMMON SENSE
Rules of conduct and the like are there to be adhered to of course, but there won't be too many people in the game that you will find agreeing with FIFA's stance on this particular issue.
Common sense appears to be a quality that is sorely lacking and the only possible outcome at this stage is the hopes and dreams of such talented youngsters are being destroyed by the very people that profess to be looking after their interests. That can't be right.
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