Soccer

FIFA clears Barcelona to sign players this summer

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The Canadian Press
4/23/2014 10:04:37 AM
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ZURICH, Switzerland -- Barcelona has been cleared to sign new players this off-season after FIFA froze the club's one-year transfer embargo while the sanction is appealed.

FIFA said on Wednesday its appeal panel "considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect."

Panel chairman Larry Mussenden took the decision because the case was unlikely to be resolved before the July 1 opening of the next transfer window, football's governing body said in a statement.

Barcelona can plan a transfer strategy in July and August to help protect the club against a potential ban on signing players throughout 2015.

The Spanish club has pledged to pursue a further challenge against the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport if, as expected, it loses the initial appeal at FIFA.

FIFA's disciplinary committee barred Barcelona from registering new players as punishment for signing youth players from overseas in breach of rules designed to prevent child trafficking.

Barcelona's interim legal victory on Wednesday follows a pattern in similar cases of signing embargos applying only once the appeal process is exhausted.

Chelsea got a one-year signing ban frozen by CAS in 2009 during its dispute with FIFA over luring midfielder Gael Kakuta from French club Lens. That case was eventually resolved by the clubs before a CAS panel could reach a verdict.

Nantes will start serving a one-year transfer ban this off-season after losing its appeal at CAS in a case involving Guinea forward Ismael Bangoura, who joined the club from Al Nasr of Dubai in January 2012.

Gerardo Martino (Photo: NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo: NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
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