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FIFA punishes 5 SAmerican clubs for illegal deals

March 5, 2014

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has sanctioned five clubs from Argentina and Uruguay for illegal international player transfers.

The case involved so-called “bridge transfers” where clubs collaborate to park players with a team before they quickly move on without ever playing a match.

FIFA said Wednesday that its disciplinary panel punished Uruguayan club Sud America with a one-year transfer embargo and a 40,000 Swiss franc ($45,000) fine.

The club played a “central role in the bridge transfer scheme,” FIFA said in a statement.

Sud America signed six players in 2012 who never played for the first team before being transferred to clubs in Argentina. Five of the six initially moved on loan.

FIFA said the clubs “acted in bad faith by deliberately conducting transfers for non-sporting purposes.”

Argentine clubs Central Cordoba and Independiente were each fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($56,000), Rosario Central was fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($22,500) and Racing Club was fined 15,000 Swiss francs ($17,000).

The clubs can appeal their sanctions.

FIFA investigated using details that clubs must file through the online system processing cross-border transfers, which is managed by a subsidiary of football’s governing body.

FIFA made the Transfer Matching System mandatory in 2010 to help curb financial wrongdoing and monitor involvement of agents acting for clubs and players.

FIFA did not identify the players or the original selling clubs involved, which did not face disciplinary action.

Five of the players were nationals of Argentina and one was from Paraguay.

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