Barcelona transfer ban lifted pending appeal
BERNE (Reuters) - Barcelona's ban from transfer market activity, due to last until the end of next season, has been temporarily lifted after the Spanish club appealed the decision, soccer's governing body FIFA said on Wednesday.
FIFA's Appeal Committee said it had granted Barcelona the so-called "suspensive effect" meaning that the sanctions will be lifted until a final decision has been taken.
Earlier this month, the Spanish champions were banned for two consecutive windows and fined 450,000 Swiss francs (302,566.55 pounds) for breaching rules on the international transfer of foreign under-18 players.
The effectively meant the club could not sign any players until July 2015.
FIFA said that due to the complexity of the case, the appeals process, including a possible appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), was unlikely to be exhausted before the opening of the transfer window on July 1.
It had, therefore, allowed the suspensive effect.
"The chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee, Larry 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," FIFA said in a statement.
"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.
"Consequently, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect."
(Reporting By Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien)
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