Barcelona fires Zubizarreta


Barcelona - Barcelona fired sports director Andoni Zubizarreta on Monday, a week after the club lost its appeal against a one-year transfer ban and a day after losing at Real Sociedad, missing a chance to overtake Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish league.

The transfer ban was imposed by FIFA for violating rules for registering youth players.

Barcelona said in a statement that club president "Josep Maria Bartomeu has decided to rescind the contract" of Zubizarreta.

Zubizarreta's firing was quickly followed by former defender Carles Puyol announcing that he was stepping down after less than four months as Zubizarreta's assistant.

Barcelona lost its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 30 December after attempting to overturn the ban imposed by FIFA for breaking rules on registering minors as youth players. In a February 2013 probe, FIFA had targeted violations regarding 10 players, under the age of 18, Barcelona signed to its academy.

Zubizarreta had also been criticised for the performance of several players recruited in last year's European transfer window, the last opportunity for Barcelona to sign new players until 2016.

Luis Suarez has only scored once in nine Spanish league games, Thomas Vermaelen has yet to play due to recurring injuries he experienced at Arsenal and Brazilian defender Douglas has made only three appearances.

The decision came a day after Barcelona lost 1-0 at Real Sociedad. The loss increased pressure on Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, another Zubizarreta signing, for his erratic lineups.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
41% - 12233 votes
12% - 3652 votes
19% - 5564 votes
3% - 774 votes
1% - 296 votes
2% - 695 votes
5% - 1530 votes
8% - 2500 votes
3% - 1044 votes
Water sports
1% - 271 votes
American sports
1% - 379 votes
3% - 999 votes