As Barcelona fans, we're not just waiting for the holidays to be over so the team can play again; there's another huge story going on that kind of affects our immediate future. The Court of Arbitration for Sport will decide whether or not they will uphold FIFA's decision of banning the Catalan club from making transfers for the next two windows. The CAS has until December 31st to announce their ruling, since the window opens the next day.
And if you're expecting a happy ending, well, don't be that excited. Sources told Barça Blaugranes that the feeling amongst Barça officials is that the CAS is "likely" to agree with FIFA's ruling, thus upholding the ban and forcing the club to stay quiet on the market for a full year.
Remember: the Blaugrana were found guilty of committing irregularities in the signings of TEN under-18 players; this is not similar to what happened to Chelsea in the Kakuta Case, as one could try to bring up. The Blues were found guilty of only ONE irregular U-18 signing, and they solved the situation by talking directly to the club who had the rights to said player. It was an easier, less complicated process, and Chelsea acted quickly to clear things up, and their ban was finally lifted.
Barça's case, unfortunately, is much more complex. The club's strategy of defense in this case has been a very interesting one: instead of trying to prove they didn't do anything illegal until they're found to be liars, they're basically saying: "Yes, we definitely did things wrong, but our history of doing things right is way more important. We understand that we didn't do things the way we should have, but we don't think it's fair to get punished over 10 irregular signings when signed hundreds of kids regularly, and we have taken care of them and made them successful human beings."
It's up to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to decide whether or not that's a good enough argument that could change their minds. If the report is accurate, they didn't believe Barça and we'll be stuck with the same squad for a year.
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