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.
FIFA also issued Chelsea FIFA with a £460,000 fine.
It all started with 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.
With Chelsea being banned from two successive windows, this could harm the club’s plans to overhaul the current squad, and with a number of Chelsea players already in their 30’s and running out of contracts, Chelsea are at a disadvantaged position.
The likes of Eden Hazard, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud, Willian, David Luiz, Gary Cahill are running out of their current contracts, and their departure could frustrate Chelsea furthermore.
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. Thankfully, the club had already completed the signing of Christian Pulisic in the January transfer window.
Chelsea statement confirming the club will appeal FIFA’s decision, read: “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.”
Chelsea have a plan to bypass FIFA’s ban at least for this summer’s transfer window. Even if FIFA rejects Chelsea’s appeal, the process is likely to see the start of Chelsea’s transfer ban delayed until after the summer, meaning the Blues would be able to sign players when the window reopens.