Serie A club gets two-year transfer ban over illegal signing of 13 Nigerians
FIFA has slammed a two-year transfer ban on Serie A’s Spezia Calcio over the illegal signing of 13 Nigerian minors.
The Italian club illegally brought in 13 players from Nigeria between 2013-2017.
They will not be allowed to sign new players for four transfer windows starting from January 2022.
According to FIFA, Spezia brought “several Nigerian minors into Italy using a scheme aimed at circumventing RSTP (FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players) regulation as well as national immigration law”.
The world football governing body also fined the Italian club 500,000 Swiss francs.
The same punishment was also imposed on USD Lavagnese 1919 and Valdivara 5 Terre, two clubs FIFA said “played an active role in the aforementioned scheme”.
The judgement was announced in a statement on FIFA website on Friday.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Italian club Spezia Calcio for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18,” the statement read.
“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.
“The Fifa Disciplinary Committee took into account that Spezia Calcio accepted responsibility for its serious regulatory violations, and imposed a registration ban … for four registration periods and a fine of 500,000 Swiss (US$544,000).”
Sadiq Umar, a former Super Eagles invitee, was among the 13 minors illegally traded by Spezia alongside USD Lavagnese and Valdivara 5 Terre — two amateur Italian teams — who have also been banned for their roles in the dealings.
Spezia were promoted to Serie A for the first time in 2020 before finishing 15th last season.
The club has already said they would appeal “an extremely harsh sanction,” pointing out “the alleged irregularities occurred in the period between 2013 and 2018, therefore under the previous administration of the club.”
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