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FIFA sanctions Italian club over illegal signing of 13 underage Nigerians

FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Italian clubs Spezia Calcio, USD Lavagnese 1919 and Valdivara 5 Terre for breaches of the rules governing the international transfer of minors.

The club was deemed to have brought “several Nigerian minors into Italy using a scheme” to circumvent regulations “as well as national immigration law,” said FIFA.

The club were also fined 50,000 Swiss francs (54,500 dollars) in addition to the transfer ban.

Spezia said they were “surprised” by the sanction, which was too harsh for offences carried out under previous club ownership, and they would consider legal options.

Yusuf Musa, Nura Abdullahi and Sadiq Umar, were among some 13 young Nigerian players believed to have plied their trade with the Seria A side years back.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee took into account that Spezia Calcio accepted responsibility for its serious regulatory violations, and imposed a registration ban at both national and international level for four registration periods and a fine of CHF 500,000. Spezia Calcio will thus be unable to register any new players for the next four registration periods established by the Italian Football Association.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee also imposed a registration ban at both national and international level for four registration periods and a fine of CHF 4,000 each on Italian clubs USD Lavagnese 1919 and Valdivara 5 Terre, these two clubs having played an active role in the aforementioned scheme.

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