A history of the communications between FIFA and FC Barcelona concerning underage players registration

A history of the communications between FIFA and FC Barcelona concerning underage players registration

FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed in his press conference this evening the full extent of communications between FIFA and FC Barcelona concerning the registration of underage players

1.- February 5 2013 the Club receives the request from FIFA (via RFEF) for information concerning the registration of  Lee Sung Woo, which was presented and as a measure of the Club’s complete transparency and willingness to collaborate, we also included information concerning another Korean youngster (Jang Gyeolhee) who was in the same situation and whose name was also mentioned in the papers concerning Lee Sung Woo. We duly answered FIFA’s request on February 15 2013.

2.- On March 1 2013, President Rosell sent a letter to the FIFA Secretary General to propose substantial modifications to Article 19 of the Protection of Underage Players to make it more effective.

3.- On May 6 2013, the Club received notification from FIFA that they wanted information concerning 16 more players and any other non-Spanish players who were not registered with the RFEF or who were only registered with the Federació Catalana de Futbol. The Club duly gave details of 15 more players and sent all the information requested on May 16, 2013. At this time information concerning a total of 33 players had been provided by the Club.

4.- On July 9, the Club recieved a reply from FIFA's secretary general, Jerome Valcke, to President Rosell concerning the Club’s proposal to consider an exception to article 19 of the Protection of Underage Players, which referred to a possible analysis of the issue by the Player Status Committee at the end of the year.

5.- On July 12 2013 the Club received notification from FIFA (via RFEF) of a request for more information about 25 of the 33 players, which was sent on July 17, 2013.

6.- On 25 September 2013, FIFA contacted RFEF with 31 letters – one for each player investigated  - requiring further information from 18 of them and informing them that disciplinary proceedings were being opened which would be sent to the Disciplinary Commission at its meeting on November 29, 2013. This information was re-sent to the Clubby the RFEF on October 4 2013 and the corresponding appeals were lodged on October 8, 2013.

7.- On 20 November 2013, FIFA (via RFEF) asked for further information concerning 12 of the 18 players, which was sent to FIFA on November 25, 2013.

8.- On 26 November 2013, FIFA asked for information concerning 4 more players who they believed shouls have been included in response to the request made on May 6, 2013. This information was sent on December 3, 2013, which was the deadline set by FIFA. The total number of players about whom information had been requested was now 37.

9.- 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 -4 months and 5 days after the decision had been taken. The FIFA Secretary General has today admitted that he is unaware of the reasons why this decision was not communicated until now.

10.- On 9 December 2013, eleven days after the disciplinary decision had been taken, FIFA confirmed they had recieved the information they has asked for before the deadline they had set. They also asked for information concerning all the non-Spanish underage players registered at that time and who had been registered since May 16 2013. This information was sent on 16 December, one day before the deadline set by FIFA. It is surprising that FIFA continued to request information despite having already taken its decision to impose sanctions.

11.- Yesterday, 2 April 2014, we received notification of the sanctions to be imposed by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee. Out of a total of 37 players investigated, FIFA considered that 9 did not fulfil the conditions laid out in the Rules for Transfer of Players.


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