‘Madrid not involved in Barca ban’

A Real Madrid Vice-president who sits on FIFA’s player status committee has insisted Madrid have no involvement in the transfer ban given to Barcelona.

The Catalans were punished on Wednesday for breaching rules regarding the signing and registering of players under-18.

Barca have since confirmed they will appeal the decision that has led to a ban on signing players in the next two transfer windows.

It has been suggested by some at Barca that Madrid have manoeuvred to have Barca sanctioned, with suggestions from President Josep Maria Bartomeu of an ‘anti-Barca agenda’ and Vice-president Javier Faus claiming Barca are the victims of a conspiracy.

But Pedro Lopez Jimenez, Madrid’s third Vice-president according to the club’s official website, and a member of the FIFA player status committee, has told AS that such implications are wide of the mark.

“Neither Real Madrid nor myself as a member of FIFA have anything to do with the punishment given to Barcelona,” AS reports Lopez as saying.

“My membership of the player status committee has nothing to do with Madrid or Florentino Perez.

“I have it under the proposal of the European Club Association, to which Madrid also belongs.”

FIFA’s website describes the operations of the player status committee as intended to “monitor compliance with the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and determine the status of Players for various FIFA competitions.”

Lopez revealed the extent of the discussions involving Barca at a committee meeting to which he was privy since joining the body in November.

“Neither of the two meetings I have attended have discussed a possible penalty for Barca,” he continued.

“What was discussed was Barca’s request to award a badge of excellence to its sporting academies, including La Masia, which the record will show I voted for.

“I wish to make it clear that the committee to which I belong has no sanctioning power.

“We study the files we receive but the sanction to Barca is the responsibility of the disciplinary committee of FIFA which, fortunately for what has happened, I have nothing to do with.

“Neither I nor Madrid, of course.”

Lopez also discussed the issue of the transfer of children, confirming it is an issue FIFA takes very seriously.

“The big clubs are the first to collaborate with child protection, but unfortunately it is true that there has been marketing of minors and FIFA is worried about it,” he said.

“I don’t think that is the case at any of the big clubs. But you have to analyse and reflect on the rules to help us differentiate between cases.”

Tags FIFA Pedro Lopez Jimenez