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Barca’s transfer ban is upheld

Zurich: Barcelona have lost an appeal against a decision to ban them from the transfer market for two consecutive windows, soccer’s world governing body Fifa said in a statement on Wednesday.

As a result, Barca, who were found guilty of breaching rules on the international transfer of Under-18 players, will be banned from registering players during the next transfer window in January as well as the 2015 summer window, Fifa said.

Fifa also rejected Barcelona’s appeal against a 450,000 Swiss francs ($493,637) fine and have been given 90 days to regularise the situation of all the minor players concerned, the governing body said.

The ban was originally imposed in April and would have covered the current transfer window, followed by the next one in January.

However, Barcelona appealed later the same month and the ban was lifted pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

The Catalan club, hugely proud of its Masia academy, said it would take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“Barcelona cannot accept in any way a decision which attacks the sprit of our Masia, an example in human, sporting and academic development, recognised around the world,” it said in a statement.

Since the ban was temporarily lifted, Barca have signed Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, Belgium centre back Thomas Vermaelen, France defender Jeremy Mathieu, Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The first four players alone cost about $200 million.

“The Fifa Appeal Committee has decided to… confirm in their entirety the decisions rendered by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors,” said Fifa in a statement. (Reuters)