FIFA Issue Two-Year Transfer Market Ban on Spezia from January 2022

FIFA announced early today to have inflicted a two-year transfer market ban on Spezia. The measure will come into effect next January; therefore, they are free to operate in the ongoing window. The punishment stems from past infractions related to the transfers of underage Nigerian players. The international federation also levied a €450k fine.

Spezia responded with an official statement. They pointed out that the irregularities happened between 2013 and 2018. All the executives from that time are no longer with the club, which changed hands. They also lament that the previous owner did not fully disclose the probe during the takeover.

The Aquilotti consider the sanctions excessively harsh considering that the current directors had no role in the violations. They announced that they would appeal. Moreover, they will collaborate with FIFA in any future investigation.

Previous Spezia chairman Gabriele Volpi could stand trial in Italy for exploitation of clandestine immigration. Thirteen players arrived illegally in Italy with the help of some local youth academies. Then, the club monetized on their sales once they blossomed. Spezia plea-bargained a €60k fine when the Italian Football Association looked into the matter in the past.

President Philip Raymond Platek commented: “We are surprised by this decision. We did not participate in the alleged abuses. We firmly disavow any system that involves the illicit transfer of underage players. I want to reassure our fans: We will give our best effort to make sure that the team will remain competitive for years to come.”