Barcelona fires Zubizarreta

(File)
(File)
Shutterstock[http://www.shutterstock.com]

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.


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