Man City avoid transfer ban, get £315K fine

Manchester City have avoided a transfer ban despite admitting breaking FIFA rules on signing young players but were fined £315,000 after breaching rules on the transfer and regulation of foreign players under the age of 18.

There was a risk they could be punished with a transfer ban after Chelsea were banned from registering new players for two windows after a similar breach of FIFA regulations. Chelsea cannot sign new players until the end of January 2020.

Instead, City have been hit with a fine after admitting breaking the rules. A statement by the club released on Tuesday said: “Manchester City FC can confirm that it has today received a reprimand and a CHF 370,000 fine following the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee concerning the international transfer of players under the age of 18, particularly in relation to their trial periods and participation in friendly games.

“The club accepts responsibility for the breaches which arose as a result of misinterpretation of the regulations in question. All of the breaches occurred before December 2016 when guidance on the interpretation of the provisions was issued, since which date Manchester City has been fully compliant.

“The club regards highly and shares FIFA’s determination to ensure the protection of minors in football and has cooperated fully with the investigation which has been transparent and evidenced based at all times.”

A statement issued by FIFA on Tuesday read: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned English club Manchester City FC for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

“Manchester City FC was found to have breached, amongst others, article 19 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. The Disciplinary Committee took into account the fact that Manchester City FC accepted its responsibility and sanctioned the club with a fine of CHF 370,000.

“The protection of minors is a key element in FIFA’s overall regulatory framework relating to the transfer of players, and the effective enforcement of these rules is paramount, as has also been confirmed on various occasions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

City are also facing a separate investigation from UEFA regarding financial fair play (FFP), which was opened in March. The club have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against UEFA’s investigation and club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has said the club will “unquestionably prevail.”

The club announced the sale of French defender Eliaquim Mangala to Valencia, who will join the Spanish side on a two-year deal.