Chelsea have been banned by FIFA from signing new players for two transfer windows for breaching the rules around the transfer of minors.
FIFA found Chelsea guilty of breaching article 19 of FIFA’s regulations with regards to the transfer of 29 minor players and article 18 regarding two further minors.
The signing of Bertrand Traore in 2014, who has since joined Lyon, sparked the investigation by FIFA. It is been claimed that Chelsea signed Traore before his 18th birthday, and provided misleading information as to when he was signed.
It is claimed that Chelsea paid Traore’s mother £155,000 in 2011 to take a first refusal option on him and then £13,000 to the club chaired by his mother, AJE Bobo-Dioulasso.
The ban by FIFA could have an impact on Eden Hazard’s future and could stop him from leaving for Real Madrid.
A FIFA statement confirmed the ban: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the English club Chelsea FC and The Football Association for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
“Chelsea was found to have breached art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of twenty-nine (29) minor players and to have committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players.
“The club also breached art. 18bis of the Regulations in connection with two agreements it concluded concerning minors and which allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer-related matters.
“The Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two (2) complete and consecutive registration periods.
“This ban applies to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and does not prevent the release of players. Additionally, the club was fined CHF 600,000 and given a period of 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned.
“The Football Association was also found to have breached the rules in connection with minors.
“It was fined CHF 510,000 and given a period of six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football.
“The protection of minors is a key element in FIFA’s overall regulatory framework relating to the transfer of players and effective enforcement of these rules is paramount, as also confirmed on various occasions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“The decisions issued by the Disciplinary Committee were notified today and can be contested before the FIFA Appeal Committee.”
Chelsea have now confirmed the ban will be appealed by the club. The Blues will first appeal to FIFA and then the Court of Arbitration for Sport. That means Chelsea will almost certainly be able to get the ban pushed back until after the summer window, in order to do any key business.
Chelsea statement confirming the club will appeal FIFA’s decision: “Chelsea FC has today received a decision from the FIFA Disciplinary Committee concerning alleged breaches of the FIFA Regulations that relate to the international transfer of players under the age of 18.
“The decision imposes a transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods and a fine of 600k Swiss francs. Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision.
“The club wishes to emphasise that it respects the important work undertaken by FIFA in relation to the protection of minors and has fully cooperated with FIFA throughout its investigation. Initially, Chelsea FC was charged under Articles 19.1 and 19.3 in relation to 92 players.
“We welcome the fact that FIFA has accepted that there was no breach in relation to 63 of these players, but the club is extremely disappointed that FIFA has not accepted the club’s submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players. Chelsea FC acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to FIFA.”