Italian club Spezia hit with 2-year transfer ban by FIFA

AP , Friday 16 Jul 2021

The ban in registering new players runs through the 2022-23 season, and the club must also pay a fine of 500,000 Swiss francs ($544,000), FIFA said

American-owned Italian club Spezia was hit with a two-year transfer ban by FIFA on Friday for breaking transfer rules when it recruited young players from Africa.

FIFA said the case involved the Serie A club ``bringing several Nigerian minors into Italy using a scheme aimed at circumventing (transfer of minor rules) as well as national immigration law.''

The ban in registering new players runs through the 2022-23 season, and the club must also pay a fine of 500,000 Swiss francs ($544,000), FIFA said.

It was unclear when the incidents took place or when FIFA began an investigation that also involved lower-tier clubs USD Lavagnese 1919 and Valdivara 5 Terre.

United States investor Robert Platek bought the club in February.

Spezia placed 15th in Serie A last season and appointed former Italy midfielder Thiago Motta as coach this month.

The club can appeal the sanction and ask for the punishment to be frozen pending a hearing.

That could allow Spezia to register new signings during the current transfer window that is open through August.

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