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Chelsea placed under transfer ban for next two windows

The club have been punished for breaching rules on the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

A general view of Stamford Bridge.
A general view of Stamford Bridge.
Image: Adam Davy

Updated at 11.15

CHELSEA HAVE BEEN placed under a transfer ban for the next two windows for breaching rules on the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

Fifa announced the news today, adding that the club would be fined 600,000 Swiss francs (over €520,000) for their actions.

The ban does not prevent players being released by the club and it does not apply to Chelsea’s women’s and futsal teams.

Chelsea have been given three days to appeal against FIFA’s decision.

The move follows a Fifa investigation into Chelsea’s signing of foreign U18 players, including the club’s former forward Bertrand Traore, a Burkina Faso international who now plays for French Ligue 1 club Lyon.

Traore signed professional forms for Chelsea in 2013 at the age of 18 but was not registered until January the following year.

French website Mediapart, quoting documents from Football Leaks, reported that Fifa had scrutinised 19 Chelsea signings.

Mediapart reported that FIFA found evidence that Chelsea had supplied misleading information about Traore’s signing and that he had made more than 20 appearances for the club at different age levels despite not being registered by the Football Association.

Part of a statement read: “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 since reacted to the news, saying they plan to appeal the punishment.

“Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision,” part of a statement read.

“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.”

Originally published at 09.55, additional reporting by AFP

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Paul Fennessy

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