(WFI) FIFA has suspended Barcelona’s transfer ban pending the outcome of an appeal.

The club’s hopes of signing Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and Dinamo Zagreb’s Alen Halilovic, the 17-year-old dubbed as “the new Lionel Messi”, appeared to have been dealt a blow when FIFA dished out a year-long transfer ban earlier this month for breaching its rules on the transfer of players aged under 18.

Barca, sanctioned for signing 10 minor players and committing other infringements, launched an appeal against FIFA’s decision.

Today’s FIFA’s appeal committee granted a suspension of the ban, paving the way for the club to buy and sell new players during the summer transfer window.

“The chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee, Larry Mussenden, took into consideration the sanctions imposed against the club, the complexity of the matter, the start date of the next registration period – 1 July 2014 – and the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee does not seem in a position to take a decision on the main issue early enough so that an eventual appeal of the club against its decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport would still be decided before the beginning of the next registration period,” a FIFA statement said.

“Consequently, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect.

The statement added: “In view of the foregoing, the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee assures that proper and adequate appeal proceedings will take place and, at the same time, that all rights of the club will be respected.”

The FIFA suspension means Barca can complete the signing of Croatia midfielder Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb. The 17-year-old has agreed a five-year contract. They can also move ahead with securing the services of Stegen, who is seen as the successor to departing keeper Víctor Valdés.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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