Featured Matches
Previous
Germany
Argentina
ESPNDeportes Sep 3, 2014 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Czech Republic
United States
Sep 3, 2014 6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
England
Norway
Sep 3, 2014 7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC
Sep 3, 2014 11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England Revolution
Sporting Kansas City
Sep 3, 2014 11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chivas USA
Seattle Sounders FC
Sep 3, 2014 2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Crewe Alexandra
Rochdale
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Oldham Athletic
Bradford City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Accrington Stanley
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Barnsley
York City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Fleetwood Town
Morecambe
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Mansfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Shrewsbury Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Chesterfield
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Southend United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Oxford United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Crawley Town
Cambridge United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stevenage
Gillingham
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Wycombe Wanderers
Coventry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Portsmouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ballymena
Institute
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cliftonville
Linfield
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Coleraine
Crusaders
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dungannon Swifts
Warrenpoint Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballinamallard Utd
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Glentoran
Portadown
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sp. Belgrano
Huracán
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Tucumán
Temperley
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
ABC
CR Vasco da Gama
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Goianiense
Boa MG
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Sampaio Correa-MA
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Joinville
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Apr 4, 2014

Real deny involvement in Barcelona ban

Josep Maria Minguella speaks about the consequences of the transfer ban imposed on FC Barcelona.

Real Madrid vice-president Pedro Lopez Jimenez has denied the Bernabeu club has had anything to do with the transfer ban imposed this week on Barcelona for breaking youth transfer regulations.

Barcelona-based newspaper Sport used this dramatic image on Friday's front page.
Barcelona-based newspaper Sport used this dramatic image on Friday's front page.

• Corrigan: What the transfer ban means
• Tomas: Where do Barca go from here?
• Ledwith: Off-field gloom at Camp Nou

At a news conference on Thursday, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed that the ban had originated in a continuing campaign by unnamed enemies who want to damage the Catalan club.

Taking this lead, Barcelona-based newspaper Sport printed a large image of a black hand on its cover Friday morning, while Mundo Deportivo reported that inside the Camp Nou the suspicion was that Real Madrid were the "principal cause" of the FIFA sanction.

This 'conspiracy theory' is similar to claims pushed by Bartomeu and some Catalan journalists that Madrid president Florentino Perez was part of a high-ranking conspiracy in the Spanish capital which led to the ongoing court investigation of Neymar’s transfer to Barca last summer -- a claim Madrid furiously denied and which seemed strange given the investigation was sparked by a case taken by Barca 'socio' Jordi Cases.

And Lopez Jimenez -- a member of FIFA's Players' Status Committee -- told AS that neither he nor Perez had played a role in FIFA finding Barcelona guilty of not following the regulations regarding the transfers of minors across borders.

"Not Real Madrid nor me myself, as a member of FIFA, have had anything to do with the punishment which Barcelona have suffered," he said.

"That is the responsibility of FIFA's Disciplinary Committee. Unfortunately given what has happened, I have nothing to do with that [committee].

"My role on the Players' Status Committee has nothing to do with Florentino nor with Madrid. I was proposed for the position by the European Clubs Association, of which Barca is also a member."

Barca have said they plan to get the FIFA ban overturned, taking a case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary, with one potential avenue for appeal being the timing of the punishment’s imposition.

As Bartomeu was speaking on Thursday, the Catalan club published details of all correspondence with FIFA over the matter, to show they have co-operated with the investigation since early 2013.

However, the club maintain that the delay between FIFA's Disciplinary Committee deciding punishment was warranted, and then telling Barca a transfer ban was being imposed, was particularly strange.

"On 28 November, before the deadline set for the presentation of the information requested above, FIFA's Disciplinary Committee met and decided on the sanctions to be applied to FC Barcelona, which was not communicated to the Club until yesterday, April 2, 2014 -- four months and five days after the decision had been taken," their statement read.

"The FIFA Secretary General [Jerome Valcke] has today admitted that he is unaware of the reasons why this decision was not communicated until now."

Meanwhile, Laureano Ruiz -- former Barcelona first team coach and head of La Masia for five years in the 1970s -- has backed FIFA's decision, telling La Provincia that the practice of importing very young kids had gone too far.

"FIFA's decision is very, very correct," Ruiz said. "You must put a limit. It seems very bad to me that Barca and other teams do not follow the rules."

Ruiz said that the youngsters -- who Barca have admitted have been in limbo during the investigation, unable to play games with their youth teams -- would not be developing as they should.

"Barca, and other teams, have half a dozen kids of 11 or 12 years old who cannot play for this reason, when the most important thing for their football education is to play games," he said.

The renowned inventor of La Masia's ‘rondo’ drill and author of a book called ‘El autentico metodo del Barca' said it would be better if big clubs waited until promising players were 16 or older before bringing them in.

"I would sign players from another country or city if they are 16 or older, never before," Ruiz said. "I would never be in favour of bringing in kids of 11 or 12 years old."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.