Barcelona chief blasts FIFA for 'excessive' La Masia sanctions

The FIFA sanctions against Barcelona are "unjust, excessive and exaggerated," said president Josep Maria Bartomeu three days after the club temporarily removed more than a dozen La Masia players to comply with a new interpretation of the club's transfer ban.

Barcelona have announced that the club wish to incur zero risk during the transfer ban and have asked FIFA to notify them of any potential conditions until the ban is lifted on Jan. 4.

"We have already said this," Bartomeu said on Monday during a sponsor presentation. "This [FIFA's recent decision regarding La Masia] is so excessive that we are waiting to speak with FIFA.

"This is not fair that they can't be at La Masia, especially for the young players who want to play football for Barca and that is their passion. The case of Patrice [Sousia] and the others I will not detail here but Barca have done everything we were called upon to do."

Barcelona were banned from making transfers until January 2016 by FIFA after "seriously" breaching rules regarding the signing of underage players.

The sanction was applied after an investigation and was related to the club's signing of 10 foreign players under the age of 18 between 2009 and 2013.

Barcelona did not say which youth players have been let go but, according to Spanish media, promising 16-year-old forward Patrice Sousia from Cameroon was among them.

Madrid-based newspapers Marca and AS reported last week that Barca have taken such measures as a tug of war continues between FIFA and the Catalan giants.

Bartomeu also said he saw no real issue with La Liga officiating up to this point but said the club are watching.

Against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, referee Mateu Lahoz turned down four contentious handballs inside the penalty box, with three of those decisions going against Barca.

Barca coach Luis Enrique said he had seen the incidents clearly, while admitting it was difficult to know what referees would whistle or not.

"We don't see anything from the bench, the only thing we can look to is what the players do," he said. "When they appeal by reflex, you imagine something has happened. It can be difficult for everyone to know what criteria the referee is using."

Lionel Messi came off the substitutes' bench for Barcelona to secure a 2-1 winover Atletico Madrid. Messi, who celebrated the birth of his second son on Friday, did not start the game but replaced Ivan Rakitic on the hour mark and proved the difference.

"It always worries us, how it affects the club and the sport," Bartomeu said. "We try to find solutions for everything. We have a lot of respect for the officials and it is a long season. The team is at a very elite level. Three wins out of three is perfect.

"About the officiating, we will continue to talk, we are seeing things that we like and things that we don't like, as in years past. When something happens we will do what we have to do but in private."

"It's too early to make an analysis but we have an ambitious and competitive team who want to win. Against a tough rival [Atletico Madrid] they got past an adverse goal and with Leo Messi. When it went out, you see things in a different way, but I can add that we have a great team and great players and in January Turan and Vidal arrive."