FIFA announced on Wednesday that it had rejected Barcelona’s appeal of the sanction imposed in April over breaches of rules around the transfer of under-18 players.
The two-window embargo was suspended after the club appealed, but FIFA ruled the club will now be unable to register new players in the January and summer 2015 transfer windows.
“FC Barcelona is to serve a transfer ban, which will see the club prevented from registering any players at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, starting with the next registration period (January 2015),” said FIFA in a statement.
Players aged under 18 can move to a club in a different country if their parents move there for non-footballing reasons, if they are from another nation within the European Union or European Economic Area and aged between 16 and 18, or if they live within 100km of the club.
A FIFA investigation into the transfer of several players who were registered and played between 2009 and 2013 found that Barcelona and the Spanish football federation were guilty of a “serious” infringement of the rules in relation to 10 players.
Barcelona were also fined 450,000 Swiss francs while the Spanish FA was fined 500,000 Swiss francs and given a year to “regularise its regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football”. An appeal by the Spanish FA was also rejected. Barcelona said they would now take the case to Court of Arbitration on Sports, CAS, in a bid to have the ban vacated.
“Following the resolution announced today by the FIFA Appeals Committee on violations of regulations regarding the transfer and registration of children aged under 18 years, FC Barcelona announces that it shall continue defending its interests before the highest sporting authority, in this case the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” the club said in a statement.