English Premier League football club Manchester City has been fined CHF370,000 (€340,000/$380,000) by global governing body Fifa for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
Fifa’s disciplinary committee found that the back-to-back Premier League champion breached, among others, article 19 of the Fifa Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
In a statement, Fifa said that the disciplinary committee took into account the fact that City “accepted its responsibility” over the breaches. City confirmed that the breaches particularly related to players’ trial periods and participation in friendly matches.
Fifa added: “The protection of minors is a key element in Fifa’s overall regulatory framework relating to the transfer of players, and the effective enforcement of these rules is paramount, as has also been confirmed on various occasions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”
City noted that all of the breaches occurred before December 2016, when guidance on the interpretation of the provisions was issued. The club insisted that it has since been fully compliant.
The punishment comes after fellow Premier League club Chelsea was banned from signing players for two transfer windows after Fifa found it guilty of breaching similar rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
Chelsea, like City, was found to have breached article 19 of the regulations in the case of 29 minor players. Fifa said at the time that Chelsea had also committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players.
City is currently embroiled in a separate battle with European governing body Uefa, which earlier this year confirmed that it would be referring the club to the adjudicatory chamber of its Club Financial Control Body.
City hit out at what it claimed was a “wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed and hostile process” and submitted an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport over the referral, which relates to the club’s alleged non-compliance with the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations of Uefa.