LAUSANNE: The transfer ban which offered a new twist to Barcelona’s claim to be “more than a club” was imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport almost two years after world federation FIFA launched its investigation into the club’s transfer strategy in the teenage market.
The timeline ran as follows:
February 5: Barcelona provide FIFA with information about the Korean player Lee Seung Woo, after an anonymous complaint. Barcelona also provide information about another Korean player (Jang Gyeolhee).
March 1: President Sandro Rosell, in an attempt at damage limitation, sends FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke a proposal for substantial changes to Article 19.
May 6: FIFA asks Barcelona for information about 16 other players who, like the Koreans, were signed while foreign minors. FIFA also requests a list of all 33 foreign players contracted to Barcelona but not registered with the Spanish or Catalan federation.
July 9: Valckle responds by Rosell that his proposal would be discussed later in the year.
July 12: FIFA requests information from 25 of the 33 players.
September 25: FIFA asks the Spanish federation for information about 18 more players. The FEF replies, and later informs Barcelona, that disciplinary proceedings have been launched.
November 20: FIFA requested extra information from Barcelona about 12 of the 18 players.
November 26: FIFA requests information from Barcelona about four more players omitted from the list sent in May.
November 28: FIFA’s disciplinary committee meets and orders a ban on signings for two transfers windows plus 450,000 Sw.Fr. fine – though the club are not informed until April 2, 2014, until after a further, linked hearing over regulation breaches by the Spanish federation.
April 2: Barcelona learn officially about the punishment by the FIFA disciplinary committee. Of the 37 players investigated, FIFA concluded that the club has breached regulations in nine cases.
April 12: Barcelona submit an appeal to FIFA.
April 23: FIFA appeals president Larry Mussenden orders the lifting of the transfer ban pending a hearing of the appeal. Barcelona are thus freed to enter the summer transfer market.
August 19: A Barcelona delegation addresses the FIFA appeals panel in Zurich.
August 20: FIFA’s appeals panel rejects the appeal of Barcelona and confirms the punishment of a ban on signings for two transfers windows plus 450,000 Sw.Fr. fine . . . the panel also rejects a Spanish federation appeal against a similar fine and order to rewrite “regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors.”
October 2: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu admits “some little mistake” in managing grassroots sections.
December 30: CAS rejects Barcelona’s appeal.
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