FIFA President Sepp Blatter has insisted that the governing body will not back down from bans handed to a group of Barcelona youth players.
Six Blaugrana youngsters have been suspended from competitive action after the club broke laws regarding the signing of overseas minors.
Koreans Paik Seung-Ho, Lee Seung Woo and Jang Gyeolhee, Theo Chendri from France, Nigerian-Dutchman Bobby Adekanye and Cameroonian Patric Sousia are all unable to play in games for the Catalan side.
FIFA only sanction international youth transfers if – the player's parents have moved country for their own, non-related reasons; the move happens within the European Union and the player is aged 16-18; or the player's home is less than 50km from the national border crossing.
And President Blatter has admitted that these suspension are unlikely to be quashed – “The Barca case will be studied,” he told AS. “But the rules for signing minors are very clear.
“The popularity of football brings some dangers. The financial success of our sport makes it, unfortunately, of interest to international mafias.”