Barcelona faced its latest crisis as FIFA banned Barcelona from acquiring new players till the summer of 2015. The news came on Wednesday alleging the club had repeated violations signing teenage players.
As part of the ban, FIFA also fined the club 450,000 Swiss Francs (US$ 509,000) and gave it 90 days to "to regularize the situation of all minor players concerned."
FIFA clarified the ban is imposed on the club for signing and registering 10 non-Spanish minors into the club from 2009 to 2013. The organisation is strict on their rule, limiting transfer of players till they turn 18 years.
In response to the penalty imposed by FIFA, Barcelona came up with 14-point defence, stressing on their policies and academic system. The club further clarified that they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sports, if needed, demanding to allow signing of players until the case is resolved.
However, the announcement of FIFA did not mention anything on the pending case regarding the acquisitions of Marc-André Ter Stegen and Alen Halilovic.
Ted Stegan, the goalkeeper who plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach, was slated to replace Victor Valdés, a long-time goalkeeper for Barcelona, scheduled to leave the club soon. On the other case, prodigy Alen Halilovic, who plays for Dinamo Zagreb, made his first appearance for the national team of Croatia at the age of 16.
Barcelona as an elite team is careful to keep their image intact, but the ban and fine imposed by FIFA came as a state of shock to the club members. Earlier, Sandro Rossel, president of Barcelona, resigned from his post after a Spanish court accused him of misappropriation of money relating to the acquisition of Brazilian star Neymar. In February 2013, the club paid $18.6 million to the Spanish tax authority for the transfer of Neymar. The club further clarified that they have made a voluntary payment with the aim of "a possible divergent interpretation of the exact amount of tax responsibility."