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English Premiership

FIFA suspends Barca transfer ban

BARCA-CUPZURICH, April 23- FIFA on Wednesday suspended a ban on Barcelona transfering players while the club makes an appeal against the sanction.

Football’s world body, which this month banned Barcelona from buying players for 14 months for breaching rules on the registration of minors, announced the suspension in a statement.

Barcelona has appealed against what would be a dramatic restriction on its operations and asked for the sanction to be suspended, the FIFA statement said.

The Spanish club are desperate to find a new goalkeeper and replacements for veterans such as Carlos Puyol.

FIFA Appeal Committee chairman Larry Mussenden agreed that the appeal meant the ban should be suspended.

Mussenden “took into consideration the sanctions imposed against the club, the complexity of the matter, the start date of the next registration period – 1 July 2014 – and the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee does not seem in a position to take a decision on the main issue early enough so that an eventual appeal of the club against its decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport would still be decided before the beginning of the next registration period,” said FIFA.

Mussenden “assures that proper and adequate appeal proceedings will take place and, at the same time, that all rights of the club will be respected.”

FIFA’s disciplinary committee imposed the transfer ban on April 2 after finding Barcelona guilty of “serious” breaches of rules on under-age players.

It also fined the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) for allowing the deals.

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The Spanish champions were given 90 days to regularise the situation of 10 minor players.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu described the ban as a “grave injustice” and insisted the club intend to make moves in the transfer market this summer.

There are two transfer windows in the 14 month ban, one starting in July and running to the start of the new Spanish season. The second would be in January 2015.

In 2010, FIFA imposed a similar transfer window ban against Chelsea over the signing of French youngster Gael Kakuta. It was overturned after Chelsea reached an agreement with the player’s former club Lens.

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