ZURICH (AP) - Barcelona will be barred from signing any players in 2015 after FIFA rejected the club's appeal against a one-year ban for breaching transfer regulations.
FIFA said Wednesday that its appeal committee confirmed that the signing of 10 players to Barcelona's renowned La Masia program violated rules designed to prevent child trafficking.
Because the Spanish giants launched an appeal against the punishment in April, the ban was temporarily lifted during the current transfer window, which closes on Sept. 1. That allowed Barcelona to spend around $240 million strengthening during the offseason, with Uruguay striker Luis Suarez the headline signing from Liverpool.
A fine of 450,000 Swiss francs ($494,000) was also imposed on Barcelona, which was given 90 days by FIFA ''to regularize the situation of all minor players concerned.''
Barcelona said it would appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, calling the FIFA ruling ''an affront to the spirit of our Masia, a world renowned example of academic, human and sporting education.''
The Spanish Football Federation was also found to have violated FIFA rules covering the registration of minors. Its appeal against a fine of 500,000 Swiss francs ($565,500) was also rejected.