Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has made it clear the Catalan club will be appealing over the “grave injustice” that saw FIFA hand the La Liga side a transfer ban. The Spanish champions were adjudged to have breached rules regarding the transfer of foreign U18 players, resulting in FIFA handing Barcelona a transfer embargo covering two windows as well as a fine of £305,000.
Barca have confirmed they are hoping to get the transfer ban suspended until their appeal is heard, revealing they will be taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if necessary. A transfer ban would be a huge hammer blow to Barcelona’s hopes next season, with the club desperate to sign a new goalkeeper and central defender this summer.
Bartomeu was unapologetic for his anger following the decision by football’s governing body, claiming the club were being punished for a tradition that has been around for 35-years and resulted in a number of world class youngsters coming through the ranks.
“We are outraged and the victims of a grave injustice. With this sanction, FIFA is punishing a model that has existed for 35 years and which is the essence of this club,” said the Barcelona president.
“We will fight until the end to protect this model because it has made our first team become a leader in world football. We have absolute confidence in our lawyers and they tell us we have good grounds to think that the sanction will be lifted.”
With Victor Valdes nearing the end of his contract and facing eight months on the sidelines with a knee injury, Barca are facing the prospect of beginning next season without being able to replace the Spain international if the transfer ban stands. With Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both looking as strong as they have in recent years, Barca know strengthening their squad this summer could be critical to their hopes of keeping pace in the Betfair odds for next season’s title race.