Wednesday Kickoff: Barca transfer ban lifted; Moyes releases statement; and more

FCBarcelonaCelebrateGoal1-Betis (Getty)


FC Barcelona will be able to buy players in the next transfer window, at least for the time being.

FIFA released a memo on Wednesday saying that Barcelona’s transfer ban from FIFA has been temporarily lifted due to an appeal lodged by the club. FIFA had placed the ban on Barcelona for the next two transfer windows due to what they found as irregularities in Barcelona’s transfer policies with players under the age of 18. FIFA say they found 10 instances where Barca broke FIFA statute and policy regarding Under-18 transfers.

The statement released by FIFA states that Barcelona asked for the appeal to go into effect effective immediately and that FIFA Appeals Committee chairman Larry Mussenden agreed that he and the Appeals Committee did not have enough time before July 1 to accurately deliver a verdict on the appeal.

The news is huge for Barcelona, who are dealing with an aging squad and are in need of at least two new signings this summer, including replacements for defender Carles Puyol and goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Here are some more stories to start off your Wednesday:


After a period of radio silence from David Moyes, the former Manchester United manager has released a statement through the League Managers Association regarding his time at Old Trafford.

Moyes thanked both his coaching staff and Sir Alex Ferguson, who famously selected the then-Everton manager to succeed him towards the tail-end of last season. However, Moyes did not thank the players at any point of the statement.

“To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud,” Moyes said. “Taking charge after such a long period of continuous stability and success at the club was inevitably going to be a significant challenge, but it was one which I relished and never had a second thought about taking on.

“The scale of the manager’s job at United is immense, but I have never stepped away from hard work and the same applies to my coaching staff. I thank them for their dedication and loyalty throughout the last season.

“I have always believed that a manager never stops learning during his career and I know I will take invaluable experience from my time as United’s manager. I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for believing in my ability and giving me the chance to manage Manchester United”.

In an additional statement, LMA chief executive Richard Bevin slammed Man United’s conduct in their firing of Moyes, labeling them as “unprofessional.” Moyes lasted just 10 months into his six-year contract with Man United before being fired on Tuesday morning.


In somewhat ironic circumstances, Chelsea lost their starting goalkeeper while facing his eventual replacement.

During Chelsea’s scoreless draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, Cech was forced off at halftime after being clattered into by Atletico’s Raul Garcia, injuring Cech’s shoulder in the process. The injury is bad enough to keep the Czech Republic international off the field for the rest of the season, according to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

John Terry also left the match injured and Mourinho estimated that Terry would be out until the UEFA Champions League final at the earliest.

“”Petr Cech’s season over,” Mourinho said. “Don’t ask me technically, but season over. And John – we have to play the final for him to play with us.”


Club Leon suffered a double blow on Wednesday evening as they were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores on away goals and finished their match against Bolivia’s Bolivar with ten men.

The final score of the game was overshadowed by another classic Rafa Marquez red card. The Mexican National Team captain lost his cool in the 77th minute, kicking Bolivar midfielder Gerardo Yecerotte in the back when Marquez realized he wouldn’t get on the end of a 50/50 challenge. The incident happened right in front of the referee, who immediately pulled out the red card and sent Marquez off the field.

The night began well for Leon as they took an early sixth minute lead off the head of Franco Arizala. But Bolivar, to their home fans delight, leveled the scoreline in the 36th minute when defender Ronald Eguino bundled home a deflected cross with a header of his own.

Marquez took to Twitter following the match to apologize for his actions.


With 50 days to go before the start of the World Cup, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said that there is still “lots of work to do” on the four still-unfinished stadiums in Brazil. (REPORT)

Gareth Bale could miss Real Madrid’s match against Bayern Munich due to an illness. (REPORT)

Paul Scholes has joined Ryan Giggs staff at Man United as an assistant coach on a temporary basis. (REPORT)

Bayer Leverkusen have decided to disband their U-23/reserves team that competes in the Regionalliga at the end of this season because they don’t feel it prepares their youngsters for the Bundesliga. Players will be loaned out to higher clubs instead. (REPORT)

      • John

        The guy is still a baller. Much slower than he used to be but still a very good player. I thought he was pretty good in the friendly against Mexico earlier this month.

        Not surprised he’s still prone to lapses in judgement.


    • biff

      Would anyone be sad if Panama had beaten the USMNT 2-1 in October to take the fourth and last spot to World Cup 2014, meaning Rafa Marquez would not be captaining Mexico this summer in Brazil?


      • Maykol

        You dont want mexico to go to the world cup just because rafa is their captain? Pretty much all of fans i know didnt want them to go just because they are mexico


      • beachbum

        no. I was very disappointed with the fact that Mexico was kept alive by us


  • Matty

    Anyone know what the over/under is for the bribe Barca paid for that ruling from FIFA?


    • Reid

      I think the Qatar royal family still has routing numbers to the accounts, so no problem for Barca there


  • Brain Guy

    Look for Barcelona to withdraw its appeal right after it concludes the needed signings. Then fiile the matter under “Slaps on the Wrist.”


    • The Imperative Voice

      Yeah, if they buy enough of the right people, so what if the ban gets reimposed?

      My perspective, they were guilty, and merely appealing that conclusion. Status quo until the appeals decision would be guilt. So they shouldn’t be shopping. If the appeals decision comes down in say, August reversing FIFA, OK, you’re back in business. But if FIFA is upheld then you just let Barca out of jail with sly lawyering.


      • Mason

        I suspect FIFA didn’t want to collapse the RFEF by causing Barca to crash out of title contention next year.

        Money talks.


  • formerlyanonymous

    How long have you had this Barca story written? You could have called that the day they announced the ban.


      • Increase0

        It’s all a hugely contrived act. It just can’t be anything else. If he really is like this, I couldn’t understand why his players actually seem to like him.


      • Jack Del

        You’ve touched on something important–many don’t. In fact, if recent years are any indication, many of his players hate him. Look at what happened in Madrid.


      • Increase0

        That’s true. Madrid players don’t but the Chelsea and Inter guys did. Friggen Ibra loves him.


      • Nate Dollars

        you may not like mourinho (i don’t either), but you shouldn’t just make stuff up.

        sure, at one of his teams, there was probably a majority of players that wanted him out. but it’s a defining characteristic of his career that the vast majority of his former players really like him (still call him ‘coach’, seek advice in career decisions, etc.)

        in fact, i think that’s his greatest strength as a coach (much like fergie): his ability to unify, protect, and inspire. it certainly didn’t work at madrid, but so far, that’s an anomaly in his entire body of work.


      • slowleftarm

        See this is where the Mourinho haters lose credibility. It’s one thing if you don’t like the football his teams play but pretending he isn’t one of the most successful managers in the sport is just silly.

        League titles in four different countries, two champions league titles with two different clubs, 8 champions league semi-finals since 2004.


      • The Imperative Voice

        And 23-6-6 currently second using a lot of inherited players. Which is actually an improvement from third with more losses and draws last season. I’m not entirely sold he can win with Lampard and Terry and certain others seriously involved — whether favoritism may bite him when he needs to be ruthless — but the defense most certainly seems headed in the direction of a Special One team. Luiz and Cole have hit the bench.

        And then I agree with the CV argument.

        That being said, it looks like Rodgers is a heck of a coach so Mourinho needs his A game.


  • Drewbles

    Brazil should ship in some indentured servants to get those stadiums finished. It’s FIFA approved after all.


  • Matt C

    Yeah, I know players have egos….but seems like they were not club oriented. Don’t care if they don’t like the gaffer…you play for the shirt and the emblem. Pathetic. I think I heard it somewhere that the attitude of the players when Moyes showed up was kind of like “You’re not my real dad, we don’t have to listen to you”.

    Yeah, I could see the fans wanting the coach out, but there ought to be some real anger lodged towards the players.

    Heck, if they didn’t like Moyes the players and fans ought to be pissed at SAF.

    Grow up.


    • The Imperative Voice

      I hear what you are saying, but if you have man management issues you stamp your authority. When Rooney challenged him to transfer him out, he backed off and even re-upped him. So guess who’s going to be on ManU longer than Moyes is?

      Do you see SAF putting up with that? When players got crossways with SAF they tended to end up playing in Madrid or Glasgow or someplace else.


      • Matt C

        agreeance, just pointing out that the players ought to be shouldering much of the blame…and the fans ought not let them off the hook.

        it is after all a “players’ game”.

        we soccer fans like to brag about that….about how other sports are so coach/decision intensive.


      • The Imperative Voice

        Oh, I told anyone who would listen ManU was a flawed champion last year. Won a ton of games with high scores and had the epic WBA 10 goal tie.

        But Rooney actually was more productive this season, RvP was hurt a lot, etc. There are limited absolute disasters like Kagawa, but I think they needed upgrades and health more than it was just awful. A lot of the same unit last year won a title. You look at what changed and it’s a few key injuries, plus Moyes and a lot fewer GF.

        I’m sorry, but I think the player distinctions get finer at the top levels, and coaches can be incremental pluses or minuses from that. Moyes took an admittedly flawed set of players that SAF won with, and basically knocked it back down to where they belonged. That does go to the players but the SAF/Moyes difference underlines coaches matter.


    • The Imperative Voice

      The rap on Moyes seems to be that he is better engineering a negative scouted gameplan to maximize a midtable team and thwart the opposition, than he is at scheming formations or an attack, and being a Top Dog team. If handed the USMNT, that’s more like big club ManU than beer budget Everton. We are looking to dominate the region and become a seeded side, not to squeeze by with negative tactics. You also see what the more continental and attacking Martinez has done with his old team.


  • Bac

    Off Topic
    Jermaine Jones with a new bold American Flag tattoo ahead of the World Cup


  • MiamiAl

    Is there any doubt that FIFA favors a few certain teams?? Barca being their favorite and Bayern being their least…


  • EspinDOHla

    Sucks for Cech. He seems like a pretty classy guy. Can’t say the same for the other Chelsea player who was injured.


  • bryan

    wow, FIFA has not balls. Barca gets caught, and it sounds like others will follow, and FIFA actually dishes out a severe punishment. only to not enforce it which will allow Barca to sign who they need so in the event FIFA eventually enforces the ban, it’s no longer a big deal. pathetic.

    also, awful news about Bale. if him and Ronaldo are not 100%, that’s a big problem. sounds like he re-joined training this morning, but still.


    • Nate Dollars

      madrid fan, maybe?

      that’s actually standard procedure for a suspension/ban. the suspended party gets a chance to appeal, and the suspension/ban is postponed until the appeal can be reviewed. it happens all the time.


      • bryan

        how’d you guess ;)

        i totally get that, but i still don’t like it. what really annoys me is that FIFA can’t find a way to have something put together in time. but im also not surprised.


  • ga1atic0

    Great Moyes!! Such a class act. Just wasn’t the right fit for Man U. Needed more time. I see him bouncing around from team to team from now on.


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