BARCELONA: Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is to boycott Monday’s FIFA Player of the Year Gala in protest at the club’s year-long transfer ban writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Bartomeu is angry after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the world federation’s decision to punish the club for illegal activity in the international youth transfer market.

Leo Messi will be present in Zurich on Monday for the Gala at which he will be rivalled for the world player prize with holder Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Germany’s Manuel Neuer from Bayern Munich.

Other Barcelona officials will accompany Messi but not Bartomeu.

He said: “We have written a very critical letter to Joseph Blatter, the president of FIFA. We have broken off relations with FIFA during the length of this punishment. This applies to all FIFA administrative events.

“So I will not be going [to Zurich]. Other people from the club wilkl accompany our players.”