Spezia make next move after FIFA ban for illegally transferring Nigerian minors

The Italian side felt the wrath of the world football governing body after it was found guilty of using prohibited means to move teen Nigerians across two continents

Italian Serie A club Spezia Calcio say they will appeal against a two-year transfer ban imposed by FIFA for recruiting young Nigerian players contrary to accepted norms.

A few days ago, FIFA slammed the American-owned club with a transfer ban and a fine for “bringing several Nigerian minors into Italy using a scheme aimed at circumventing (transfer of minor rules) as well as national immigration law.”

But the Italian club insists that the football body’s investigations and allegations date from 2013 to 2018 when the club’s previous owners were still in charge.

The present owners – the Platek family – bought the club in February, and Spezia maintain that the FIFA investigations were “not properly disclosed” when negotiating for the takeover.

“We are shocked by FIFA’s decision to hand our club this heavy transfer ban,” club president Phil Platek said in a statement.

“The new ownership group and myself had no role in any alleged transgressions and strongly condemn every system which includes the transfer of minors.”

“I cannot comment further on the matter due to the ongoing legal proceedings, but I would like to reassure our fans, declaring that we will appeal against this ruling and take appropriate measures to ensure that our team remains competitive in the years to come.”

The FIFA ban against registering new players imposed on Spezia will start in January 2022, should the club’s appeal fail.

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