Chelsea will appeal after being hit with a transfer ban and fine by Fifa for breaching rules relating to the international transfers and registration of players under the age of 18.
Football’s world governing body has announced that the Premier League club are banned from signing players for the next two transfer windows and have also been fined £460,000.
The BBC reports that the transfer ban will be until the end of January 2020. The ban does not prevent Chelsea from selling or releasing players and does not apply to their women’s and futsal teams.
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Protection of minors
A statement issued by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee said that the west London club were found to have breached article 19 of regulations in the case of 29 minor players and to have committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players.
Chelsea also breached article 18 of the regulations in connection with two agreements it concluded concerning minors and which allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer-related matters. Chelsea have 90 days to “regularise the situation of the minor players concerned”.
Fifa added: “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.”
Appealing the decision
In response to the sanctions Chelsea “categorically refutes the findings of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision”.
A statement said: “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.”
According to Sky Sports News the transfer ban and fine are the result of a “three-year Fifa investigation related to the signing of more than a dozen players”.
One signing that was found to be contentious was Bertrand Traore in 2013. The BBC reports that he signed his first professional contract for Chelsea in 2013 at the age of 18 but was not registered until January 2014. He was found to have made 25 appearances for the Blues (under-16, under-18 and first team) despite not being registered by the English Football Association (FA).
The FA also fined
It was not just Chelsea who have breached Fifa’s regulations. According to the Fifa statement the FA was also fined £390,000.
The BBC says the FA has been told to “address the situation” regarding the international transfer and registration of minors.
An FA statement said: “The FA intends to appeal against the decision. We will, however, continue to work with Fifa and Chelsea in a constructive manner to address the issues which are raised by this case.”
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