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FIFA reduces Spain federation fine for Barcelona's breach of transfer rules

ZURICH -- FIFA says sport's highest court has cut the fine Spain's football federation must pay for breaking transfer rules when Barcelona signed youth players from abroad.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling comes 11 months after Barcelona lost its appeal against a one-year ban on registering new players.

FIFA says the Spanish federation must pay 280,000 Swiss francs ($272,000) instead of 500,000 Swiss francs ($485,000).

Still, FIFA says CAS endorsed its "efforts to protect underage players."


 By Andy Mitten

Xavi talks Qatar, Barcelona, el Clasico, Messi, Champions League finals, more

In June, Xavi ended a 16-year career in Barcelona's first team.

DOHA, Qatar -- The day after Barcelona won their fourth European Cup in a decade, the victorious team returned from Berlin to ride an open-top bus across the city. As the sun began to set, hundreds of thousands of people came to salute them.

The bus passed by to wild cheering but what struck this observer was not the mass of players dancing at the front, but one man who sat at the back, detached and alone in thought. The man was Xavi Hernandez.

Five months later, I meet Barca's most decorated player...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

FIFA World Ranking: Belgium stay in top spot, Spain back in top three

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol believes Belgium lack a world class centre-forward to win Euro 2016.

Belgium will remain on top of the FIFA World Ranking for a second month when the new table is published on Dec. 3.

Marc Wilmots led his side into the No. 1 position for the first time in their history in the November ranking, and Friday's night's 3-1 friendly win at home to Italy has proved to be enough to hold onto first place.

Argentina, who drew with Brazil and beat Colombia in World Cup qualifiers, are back up into second place, while Spain are up three to third after being as low as 12th as...

 By PA Sport

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots OK with decision to cancel friendly

Belgium's friendly against Spain on Tuesday has been cancelled amid security fears in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots understands the decision to cancel Tuesday night's friendly against Spain because an increased terrorist threat, saying: "A human life is worth more than a game of football."

The decision to postpone the match, which was set to take place at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels, was taken late on Monday evening because of security fears in the wake of the Paris terror attacks which killed 129 people, with arrests made in Belgium.

The Belgian Football Association (KBVB) confirmed...