FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Italian club Spezia Calcio for breaches relating to international transfer and registration of players under 18.
It banned the club from the transfer markets for four seasons from 2022.
A statement by the world football body said: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee took into account that Spezia Calcio accepted responsibility for its serious regulatory violations, and imposed a registration ban at both national and international level for four registration periods and a fine of CHF 500,000. Spezia Calcio will thus be unable to register any new players for the next four registration periods established by the Italian Football Association.”
But the club vowed it would appeal the ban.
It said: “The club is surprised and extremely disappointed by this ruling and would like to clarify the following:
“The alleged irregularities attributed to Spezia Calcio occurred in the period between 2013 and 2018, therefore under the previous administration of the club.
“The club finds that the sanction is excessively harsh, a sanction that punishes a new administration that has not had any involvement in the alleged irregularities contested;
“The Club intends to take legal action to appeal this ruling and clearly demonstrate that there is no correlation between the current ownership and this case, of which Spezia Calcio is accused.”
Spezia Calcio president Philip Raymond Platek Jr said: “We are surprised by FIFA’s decision to impose this heavy transfer ban on our club.
“The new ownership has played no role in the alleged transgressions charged to Spezia Calcio and strongly condemns any system, which includes the illegal transfer of minors.
“I cannot comment further on the matter due to the ongoing legal proceedings, but I would like to reassure our fans, stating that we will appeal this ruling and will take appropriate measures to ensure that our team remains competitive in the years to come “. Skysports