On 13 August, FIFA announced Manchester City were found guilty of breaching the rules on the international transfer of minors. To the surprise of many, however, the Mancunians avoided a transfer ban. Instead, they were fined £315,000 for their breach of the rules.
When the investigation began earlier this year, Manchester City admitted their wrongdoings and cooperated with FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee. Due to the club’s admission of these errors, it is possible this led to FIFA’s decision to reduce the charges.
FIFA’s statement read that its Disciplinary Committee sanctioned the Sky Blues “for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.”
Furthermore, Manchester City were found to have breached “article 19 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.”
FIFA stressed that 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.”
In response, Manchester City released a club statement saying they accept “responsibility for the breaches which arose as a result of misinterpretation of the regulations in question. The Club regards highly and shares FIFA’s determination to ensure the protection of minors in football and has cooperated fully with the investigation which has been transparent and evidenced based at all times.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea were also convicted of a similar offence earlier this year. The Londoners, however, were barred from the Summer 2019 and January 2020 Transfer Windows. FIFA’s decision on the Manchester City case has raised questions among football fans and pundits alike as they haves asked why the Sky Blues did not face a similar fate. Nonetheless, the decision has been made.