Barca to appeal against ban
Barcelona have confirmed they will appeal against the 14-month transfer ban imposed on them by FIFA.
The Spanish giants are deemed to have breached rules relating to the "international transfers of non-Spanish minors", according to a statement from the game's governing body, and they have also been fined along with the Spanish FA (RFEF).
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Barca confirmed: "FCB will present the corresponding appeal to FIFA and if necessary will submit the resulting resolution to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)."
Barca added they would take "appropriate precautionary measures to preserve the rights of the club."
Following investigations by both the FIFA Transfer Matching System and the Disciplinary Committee, Barcelona and the RFEF have both been found to have violated several provisions of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, as well as other regulations regarding the registration and participation of certain players in national competitions.
The FIFA statement added: "The disciplinary committee emphasised that the protection of minors in the context of international transfers is an important social and legal issue that concerns all stakeholders in football.
"The committee highlighted that while international transfers might, in specific cases, be favourable to a young player's sporting career, they are very likely to be contrary to the best interests of the player as a minor.
"Young football players are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in a foreign country without the proper controls. This particular fact makes the protection of minors in football by the sport's governing bodies, especially by FIFA, even more important."
The Spanish FA, which violated article 19 of the regulations regarding the first registration of the players, has been given a period of one year in to regularise their regulatory framework and existing system concerning the international transfer of minors in football''.
The ban - unless the appeal is successful - will be in force until the summer of 2015, covering two transfer windows.
The ban also casts doubt over moves already agreed for Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Croatian 17-year-old Alen Halilovic, who turns 18 in June.
Barcelona have a trio of youth players from South Korea, including much-sought after 15-year-old striker Lee Seung Woo, plus other players from Africa.
FIFA only allows international youth transfers when one of three situations apply: the player's parents have moved country for their own, non-related reasons; the move takes place within the European Union if a player is aged between 16 and 18; or the player's home is less than 50 kilometres from the national border being crossed.
Sky Sports' Spanish football expert, Guillem Balague, said: "The immediate reaction is shock, but at the same time there have been so many cases not investigated for so many years, not just at Barcelona, but at other clubs too.
"Barcelona say they are calm and they believe they have an explanation as to why and how these players have been signed. I very much doubt Barcelona would do that illegally and they must have some explanation."
Barcelona argue that their academy, "La Masia", has been held up as a model of good practice and they had not breached any civil law.
They also claim they have been trying to get FIFA to reform the rules to make them more efficient at protecting minors.
"FCB creates people before they create athletes, a fact that has not been considered by FIFA, which has applied a penalty ignoring the educational function of our training program," the club said.