Barcelona have lost an appeal against a decision to ban them from the transfer market for two consecutive windows, soccer's world governing body FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.
As a result, Barca, who were found guilty of breaching rules on the international transfer of under-18 players, will be banned from registering players during the next transfer window in January as well as the 2015 summer window, FIFA said.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) August 20, 2014
FIFA also rejected Barcelona's appeal against a 450,000 Swiss francs (493,637 dollars) fine and have been given 90 days to regularise the situation off all the minor players concerned, the governing body said. The ban was originally imposed in April and would have covered the current transfer window, followed by the next one in January.
However, Barcelona appealed later the same month and the ban was lifted pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
Barca have since signed Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, himself serving a four-month ban from football, for 65 million pounds ($108.18 million), Belgium centre back Thomas Vermaelen, France defender Jeremy Mathieu and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
"The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to... confirm in their entirety the decisions rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in the respective cases relating to the protection of minors," said FIFA in a statement. "FC Barcelona is to serve a transfer ban which will see the club prevented from registering any players at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, starting with the next registration period (January 2015)."
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) also lost its appeal against a 500,000 Swiss francs fine, FIFA said.
"The RFEF has been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 500,000 and granted a period of one year in which to regularise their regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football."
(1 US dollar = 0.9116 Swiss franc)
($1 = 0.7530 Euros)
($1 = 0.6012 British Pounds)