According to the report, Barcelona was punished by world football’s governing body for breaking rules governing the transfer of youth players. FIFA prohibited the club from signing new first-team players in 2015.
FIFA had previously ruled that the youth players included in the ban are not permitted to train, play or live at the club’s facilities. Barcelona’s request would impact five youth players, the AP report said.
The New York Times reported the FIFA ban has impacted American Ben Lederman, 15, who was the first U.S.-born player invited to train at the Barcelona academy when he was 11. Lederman, who has been unable to represent Barca for more than a year, is leaving the club as a result of the ban with plans to enroll of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The Times said Lederman had been living with his family in Spain, but has decided to return to the U.S.
“The only option for him to play is to go back to the U.S.,” Lederman’s father, Danny Lederman, to The Times. “And that was the most important thing, as his goal is to make the 2017 under-17 team.