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"FIFA Bans 76 African Clubs from Transfers: Impact on African Football"
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“FIFA Releases Database of Clubs Banned from Registering New Players: Impact on African, Saudi, and Argentine Teams”

FIFA has published a new database listing clubs banned from registering new players. The list includes several prominent African teams, six in Saudi Arabia, and five in the Argentine championship.

Among the sanctioned clubs are well-known names such as San Lorenzo (Argentina), Wydad (Morocco), and TP Mazembe (DRC), all of which have achieved continental championships and participated in the FIFA Club World Cup since 2010.

FIFA imposes bans, typically lasting for two or three transfer windows, on clubs that violate transfer rules or have outstanding transfer debts to other clubs. In some cases, these bans can be lifted if the debts are settled, as demonstrated by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi club, Al Nassr, in a deal with Leicester last year.

Clubs facing registration bans, often referred to as “transfer bans,” are allowed to sign new players but are unable to field them in matches as they cannot register them with the national federation.

Prominent clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid have faced registration bans from FIFA over the past decade due to issues related to the signing of youth players to international contracts. These bans are typically suspended pending the completion of any appeals.

In 2019, Chelsea was subject to a ban during a transfer window before winning their appeal, while Manchester City avoided a ban by paying FIFA a fine of 370,000 Swiss francs ($432,000) in the same year.

The current list includes three out of the eight clubs that participated in the inaugural edition of the African Football League this season: Wydad (Morocco), Esperance (Tunisia), and TP Mazembe (DRC). Another African powerhouse, Zamalek of Egypt, is also on the list, although details of its case have not been made public.

According to FIFA, the primary goal of this new tool is to provide stakeholders, including players and clubs, as well as the general public, with a comprehensive view of all clubs currently prohibited from registering new players.

In Saudi Arabia, clubs such as Al Raed and Al Wehda have recently been banned from registering players for three transfer windows, while four second-division clubs are also included: Al Faisaly, Al Qaisumah, Jeddah, and Ohod.

In Argentina, the clubs facing registration bans are Banfield, Central Cordoba, Independiente, San Lorenzo, and Union.

The database released by FIFA on Thursday includes 78 cases involving Chinese clubs and numerous cases in Ukraine, where clubs have suffered financial losses from ticket sales, broadcasting, and sponsorship deals due to the military invasion by Russia.

Piers Potter

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