Official : Spezia hit with a two-year transfer ban by FIFA for signing Nigerian U18 players
Published: July 16, 2021
Official : Spezia hit with a two-year transfer ban by FIFA for signing Nigerian U18 players
Spezia will not be able to sign new players until the summer of 2023, after football's governing body, FIFA punished the Italian Serie A club with a four-window transfer ban and a fine of CHF 500,000.

According to FIFA's official website, FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Spezia for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

The Eagles brought several Nigerian minors into Italy using a scheme aimed at circumventing the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) article 19 as well as national immigration law.

Though the identities of the Nigerian minors involved have not been revealed, Umar Sadiq, David Okereke, Nura Abdullahi and Theophilus Awua are among the players that moved to Spezia from Football College Abuja in the last eight years.

It is confirmed that Spezia had signed Nigerian minors through the backdoor, something which was exposed comprehensively by seven years ago, so it's not a surprise that they have been sanctioned by FIFA as a result of the infringements.

Spezia's previous owner, Italian-Nigerian Gabriele Volpi, also has controlling interest in Football College Abuja.

Spezia's modus operandi was to transfer the sporting rights of Football College Abuja's Nigerian minors who impress at the Torneo di Viareggi to the club.

The Italian Football Federation were aware of these breaches and had investigated Spezia prior to FIFA's verdict on Friday.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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