Barcelona to snub Ballon d’Or ceremony as Bartomeu cuts Fifa ties

The Catalans are determined to fight their transfer ban and the club president says he will not attend the awards gala in Zurich this month as a result

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has announced he will boycott the Ballon d’Or ceremony as part of a severing of ties with Fifa.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) recently decided to uphold Fifa’s decision to ban Barcelona from making any signings in the next two transfer windows (starting this January) for irregularities over bringing youngsters into their Masia academy.

As a result, Barca are giving world football’s governing body the cold shoulder and Bartomeu, who remains convinced the decision will be overturned, says he will not attend the event in Zurich despite Lionel Messi’s nomination for the top prize.

“Fifa has not told us who made the original charge and during the period of the sanction we will not maintain any institutional relations with them,” Bartomeu said at a press conference.

“I have sent a stern letter to Sepp Blatter and I will not be attending the Fifa Ballon d’Or gala set for January 12.

“This is not the end of the matter. I foresee the Barca case becoming a watershed in the football world, just like the Bosman case.

“However long it lasts, we will not lose this case.”

Messi, who is expected to attend the event in Switzerland, is among the final three nominees for the 2014 Ballon d’Or and a number of Barcelona stars are candidates to be named in the Fifa FIFPro World XI for their performances in the past year.

Claudio Bravo, Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Messi are all on the final shortlist.