FIFA Imposes Transfer Ban on Chivas Involving Underage US-Born Players

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Just last month, we received word of FIFA’s decision to impose lengthy transfer bans on Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid for violating transfer regulation rules involving players under the age of 18.

Now, it looks like Chivas is next in line to have its hands tied by soccer’s international governing body.

The reasoning is similar – the team allegedly signed underage players, so they are banned from trading for two whole transfer periods – but it’s also strikingly different. Whereas Real Madrid’s ban involves the signing of two young Argentines, a Venezuelan, and a Mexican (players from across the pond honing their craft far away from home), the complaint against Chivas comes as a result of five youth players (age 13-16) born to Mexican parents in the U.S. Their “only sin” according to club youth director José Luis Real? Being born in the States. One player in particular – Diego Camarena – has been living in Mexico with his family for seven years.

“Many of us have family in the United States,” Real explained. “For us at Chivas, these boys are mexicanos – born there but of Mexican parents – and meet the requirements [put in place by FIFA]. But FIFA makes no exceptions, and because of this we are suffering…We are not inventing birth certificates here, they are of Mexican origin.”

From its position in handcuffs, the club will try to retain the young starlets (Diego Camarena, Mauricio Cuevas, Miguel Dueñas, Omar Beltrán, and Luis Rodríguez) by finding places for them to participate in non-affiliated (to the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol) leagues. “They have talent and we don’t want them to leave,” Real went on. “We want to find opportunities for them to play in non-affiliated leagues. We have to do it this way because they are players with a lot of talent who might leave us.”