Football governing body FIFA have today announced that the transfer ban placed on FC Barcelona at the beginning of April will be lifted, temporarily, while the appeal against their ruling is heard. The Catalan club, which it is alleged has breached the rules on registering young players, will therefore be able to buy players in the next transfer window.
According to FIFA's statement:
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 - 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. Consequently, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect.
This decision will come as a great relief to Barcelona and its supporters. It is shaping up to be a disappointing season for the club, and their squad has looked desperately thin in places. Presumably the already-arranged deals for Borussia Mönchengladbach's young goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and Dinamo Zagreb's 17-year-old Croatian attacker Alen Halilović can now proceed, and they can also look into buying the defender they desperately require.
However, the appeal has not been , and the possibility remains that the ban could apply over the next two windows, January and summer 2015. Barcelona might, therefore, look into getting as much business done as they possibly can over the coming months.