Barcelona: Fifa transfer ban put on hold pending appeal

Barcelona can buy and sell players this summer after Fifa suspended its transfer ban on the club.

The Spanish giants were given the 14-month ban after being found to have breached rules on signing international players under the age of 18.

However, the suspension is now on hold pending an appeal.

Tough times for Barcelona

  • May 2012: Pep Guardiola steps down after four years in charge, with Tito Vilanova replacing him
  • December 2012: Vilanova undergoes cancer surgery, returning to work in March 2013
  • March 2013: Barcelona confirm a deal with Qatar Airways, who become the first commercial shirt sponsors in the club's history
  • May 2013: Eric Abidal is allowed to leave the club, a month after returning to action following a liver transplant
  • June 2013: Lionel Messi is accused of tax evasion
  • July 2013: Vilanova steps down as Barcelona manager for health reasons
  • January 2014: President Sandro Rosell resigns as a Spanish court looks into allegations that Barcelona evaded tax on the transfer of Neymar
  • February 2014: Barca pay £11.2m to the Spanish authorities after being charged with tax fraud over Neymar, but deny wrongdoing.
  • April 2014: The club are banned from signing players for 14 months before Fifa puts the punishment on hold, pending an appeal.

Barca have been linked with Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and also have a deal in place to sign Croatia midfielder Alen Halilovic.

Captain Carles Puyol and long-serving goalkeeper Victor Valdes have both announced they will leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season.

The Spanish champions were originally sanctioned by Fifa's disciplinary committee on 2 April for breaking the rules in the case of 10 minors and punished with the ban and a fine of 450,000 Swiss francs.

After Barcelona followed through on their promise to fight the ban, Fifa decided that due to the complexity of the case and the possibility of a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), it was unlikely to be concluded before the opening of the transfer window on 1 July and therefore suspended the punishment.

Fifa rules state  that international transfers are only permitted for players over the age of 18 - unless the player in question meets one of three qualifying criteria.

Under-18s can move to a club in a different country if their parents move there for non-footballing reasons, if they are from another nation within the European Union or European Economic Area and aged between 16 and 18, or if they live within 100km of the club.

The Fifa investigation centred on several players aged under 18 who were registered and played for Barcelona between 2009 and 2013.

Fifa told BBC Sport the identity of these players is confidential.