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SBD Global/August 21, 2014/International Football
Barça Transfer Ban Upheld By FIFA; Club Plans To Appeal To Court Of Arbitration For Sport
Published August 21, 2014
BARCELONA REACTS: The BBC reported Barcelona said in a statement that the punishment was an "affront to the spirit" of "world renowned" youth academy La Masia, which is "regarded as being the foundation of the club's success in recent years." Players are instilled with a philosophy of "how the game should be played and many of the first team, such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, have graduated from the academy." The club has also been ordered to pay a fine of £305,000 ($506,500) and been told by FIFA "to regularise" the situation of all minor players concerned (BBC, 8/20). In Barcelona, Francesc Perearnau wrote Barcelona "received FIFA's ruling with surprise and indignation" just 24 hours after presenting its appeal. It "appears that FIFA's decision was practically written and the decision made before the club even deployed its arguments on Tuesday" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 8/20). Messi said, "I am what I am thanks to Barcelona. ... I arrived as a boy and grew here. I adopted the values of La Masía. ... When I arrived, everything surprised me. It was very different than what I had seen in Rosario (Argentina). ... Being able to come here was great" (MARCA, 8/20). Barcelona's Javier Mascherano said, "Personally, the club, from what I experienced in these four years, has taken very good care of the kids at La Masia. This is what I could see" (EFE, 8/20).