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FIFA Imposes Transfer Ban on Some African, Saudi, Argentine Clubs and Others

FIFA has unveiled a comprehensive database naming clubs barred from registering new players, shedding light on the global extent of sanctions. Among the noteworthy inclusions are prominent African teams, six Saudi Arabian clubs, and five from the Argentine championship.

Sanctioned clubs, such as Argentina’s San Lorenzo, Morocco’s Wydad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s TP Mazembe, find themselves on the list. Notably, these clubs have clinched continental championships and participated in FIFA Club World Cup tournaments since 2010.

FIFA typically imposes bans, ranging from two to three transfer windows, as consequences for clubs violating transfer rules or failing to settle transfer debts with other clubs.

For example, bans can be lifted upon debt resolution, exemplified by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr reaching an agreement with Leicester last year.

Although clubs under registration bans can sign new players, they are unable to field them in matches due to their inability to register them with the national federation.

It must be noted that some top clubs from Europe have faced registration bans over the past decade, particularly in cases involving the signing of youth players to international contracts. The bans are typically frozen until appeals are concluded.

The current list encompasses three participants from the inaugural African Football League season: Wydad (Morocco), Esperance (Tunisia), and TP Mazembe (DRC). Additionally, Egypt’s Zamalek is on the list, though specifics of its case remain undisclosed.

FIFA stated, “The main objective of this new tool is to provide stakeholders, including players and clubs, as well as the general public, with an overview of all clubs currently blocked from registering new players.”

Recent additions to the list include Saudi Pro League clubs Al Raed and Al Wehda, both facing a three-window ban.

In Argentina, Banfield, Central Cordoba, Independiente, San Lorenzo, and Union are among the clubs that are unable to register new players.

However, FIFA’s database release on Thursday showcased 78 cases involving Chinese clubs and numerous instances in Ukraine where clubs suffered financial losses amid the Russian military invasion, affecting revenue from ticket sales, broadcasting, and sponsorship deals.

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