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Why Man City avoided a transfer ban after breaching FIFA rules on under-18 signings

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Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have escaped a transfer ban from FIFA (Getty Images)

Manchester City have avoided a transfer ban after being found guilty of breaching FIFA rules on under-18 signings.

Instead, the Premier League champions have been fined 370,000 Swiss Francs (£315,000).

Earlier this year, Chelsea were also found guilty of breaching similar rules but were banned for two transfer windows.

And FIFA’s latest decision has left Chelsea supporters wondering why City have appeared to receive special treatment from football’s governing body.

In Chelsea’s case, FIFA claimed that the club had breached rules regarding the signing of 29 players under the age of 18.

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Earlier this summer, Chelsea took their appeal against their two-window transfer ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but a decision has not yet been made.

City, meanwhile, were investigated by FIFA over the signing of eight overseas players who were under 18 at the time.

In its statement, FIFA indicated that the lack of a transfer ban is partly down to City’s cooperation in the investigations.

FIFA’s statement read: ‘The Disciplinary Committee took into account the fact that Manchester City accepted its responsibility and sanctioned the club with a fine of CHF 370,000.’


Fifa bans the international transfer of under-18s unless it meets their guidelines.

Under-18s can only be transferred abroad if:

The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasons. Both clubs are in the European Union or European Economic Area and the player is aged between 16 and 18. But the buying club must also meet criteria relating to education, training, living conditions and support. They live within 100km of the club they are moving to.

In their own statement, City also revealed that their rule breaches occurred before FIFA’s guidelines were put in place in December 2016.

‘The club accepts responsibility for the breaches which arose as a result of misinterpretation of the regulations in question,’ City said in their statement.

‘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.

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‘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.’

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