Italian club Spezia have been handed a two-year transfer ban by FIFA. They were promoted to Serie A recently and finished 15th in their first campaign back. However, they will find it difficult to retain their post being unable to sign new players.
The reason behind the ban is Spezia signing 13 underage players from Nigeria, according to a report by BBC. ‘The FIFA Disciplinary Committee found that Spezia Calcio had breached article 19 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) by bringing several Nigerian minors into Italy using a scheme aimed at circumventing the aforesaid RSTP article as well as national immigration law,’ FIFA said in a statement.
‘The protection of minors is a key objective of the regulatory framework governing the football transfer system.’
Chelsea were handed a similar ban in 2019, while Atletico Madrid were given the same punishment in 2017. The ban received by Spezia is the longest of all the ones given out by FIFA. However, the club owners will contest the judgement and appeal the ban in court.
The new ownership had no role in the alleged transgressions,’ he added.
‘We will appeal and take appropriate measures to ensure that our team remains competitive in the years to come.’
Thiago Motta was recently announced as the head coach of the club, and he will have a big challenge at hand to keep the club in the top flight this season.