Belgium’s football union, URBSFA, has decided to appeal against a fine of 230,000 Swiss francs (203,500 euros) imposed by the international football federation, FIFA, URBSFA Spokesman Pierre Cornez told Belga news agency on Wednesday.
The union had been sanctioned for infractions linked to the transfer of foreign players under the age of 18 to RSC Anderlecht.
The union decided to appeal after an in-depth examination of the reasons given for the FIFA ruling. Its lawyers will defend its position before FIFA’s appeal committee at a date still to be set.
At issue is the transfer of four young players, particularly Chancel Mbemba, who arrived at Sporting Anderlecht in 2011, at the age of 17 years, and now plays for F.C.Porto, after three years with Newcastle.
International transfers involving minors are banned, except in three cases.
One is when the minor’s parents move for reasons other than football. However, for EU residents, the rule is more restrictive and guarantees regarding school, education and oversight are also demanded.
Transfers are also authorised for footballers residing less than 50 km from a national border and 100 km from the club concerned.
Each international transfer needs to be submitted to FIFA for vetting before it enters into effect. It also needs to be validated by the national soccer federation, which in the case of Anderlecht, means URBSFA
This procedure was not followed for Mbemba, who was discovered in 2011, but had to wait until 2013 before he was able to play.
Sporting also reportedly tried to transfer U.S. player Patrick Tshiani in 2011, when he was 16, Rumanian Dragos Cojocaru in 2012, at age 15, and Bimal Magar of Nepal when he was 16, in 2014.
FIFA’s disciplinary commission also slapped a fine of 200,000 Swiss francs (177,000 euros) on RSC Anderlecht, which cooperated fully with its investigation and did not appeal.