By Brian Homewood
BERNE (Reuters) - Barcelona have been given a transfer ban for two consecutive windows and fined 450,000 Swiss francs ($509,400) for breaching rules on the international transfer of minors, FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Spanish federation (RFEF) was fined 500,000 Swiss francs after soccer's world governing body found that it had also breached rules on the transfer of under-18 players.
"The RFEF and FC Barcelona were found to have violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of non-Spanish minors with the club," FIFA said.
"Barcelona has been found to be in breach of... the regulations in the case of ten minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players," it added.
FIFA said the sanctions, imposed by its disciplinary committee, covered transfers made between 2009 and 2013.
"The Disciplinary Committee underlined that FIFA takes the protection of minors in football very seriously," said FIFA.
"The protection of minors is one of the key principles included in the agreement concluded between FIFA, (European governing body) UEFA and the European Commission in 2001.
"The Disciplinary Committee acknowledged that young football players are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in a foreign country without the proper controls.
"This particular fact makes the protection of minors in football by the sport's governing bodies, especially by FIFA, even more important."
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)