Featured Matches
Previous
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Getafe
Almeria
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valencia
Malaga
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Augsburg
Borussia Dortmund
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Marseille
Nice
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Perugia
Bologna
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
Nurnberg
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FSV Frankfurt
RB Leipzig
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
Kaiserslautern
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
Valenciennes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Troyes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chateauroux
Orléans
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Le Havre AC
Créteil
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Arles
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Niort
Clermont Foot
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sochaux
Dijon FCO
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Laval
AC Ajaccio
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Go Ahead Eagles
Willem II Tilburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Fortuna Sittard
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Jong Ajax
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
NEC Nijmegen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Jong PSV
FC Eindhoven
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
RKC Waalwijk
Jong FC Twente
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Almere City
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Rotterdam
FC Volendam
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Emmen VV
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Vitoria Setubal
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast
Terek Grozny
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Balikesirspor
Akhisar Belediye
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Caykur Rizespor
Genclerbirligi
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KAA Gent
KV Kortrijk
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Helsingborg
Halmstad
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Orebro SK
Brommapojkarna
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Cork
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bray
UCD
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derry City
St Patricks
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundalk
Bohemians
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Limerick FC
Drogheda Utd
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shamrock
Sligo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Glenavon
Ballymena
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Coleraine
Portadown
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Queretaro
Monterrey
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
U. de G.
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Aberystwyth
Bangor City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Carmarthen
Port Talbot
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Connah's Quay
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Airbus UK
Newtown
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Rhyl
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Atlético Tucumán
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Crucero del Norte
7:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Huracán
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Ferro Carril Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Temperley
Sp. Belgrano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
San Martín de San Juan
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Lobos BUAP
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Oeste
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
América Mineiro
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Goianiense
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Arica
Palestino
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
12 de Octubre
Nacional
Postp
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Moroka Swallows
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Chippa United
Ajax Cape Town
6:00 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.