Posted by Martyn Herman | 22 February 2019 | 1,089 times
FIFA have banned Chelsea from the next two transfer windows after the Premier League club was found guilty of breaching rules regarding overseas players under the age of 18, soccer’s world governing body said on Friday.
In a statement, FIFA said Chelsea had also been fined 600,000 Swiss Francs (460,800 pounds) and had been given 90 days to “regularise the situation”. The club said it would appeal the transfer ban.
After a lengthy investigation into how Chelsea register players at academy level, they were found to have breached article 19 of the regulations in the case of 29 minor players.
FIFA added the London club had also breached article 18bis in connection with agreements it concluded concerning minors and which allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer matters.
The ban does not apply to Chelsea’s women’s team.
England’s Football Association was also fined 510,000 Swiss Francs and given six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors.
Chelsea issued a statement “categorically refuting” the findings of FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee.
The club added it respects the “important work” undertaken by FIFA in relation to the protection of minors and had fully cooperated with FIFA throughout its investigation.
Chelsea had initially been charged with breaches of article 19 in respect of 92 players but FIFA found no wrongdoing in the case of 63 of those.
“The club is extremely disappointed that FIFA has not accepted the club’s submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players,” a statement said.
The news of a ban is a serious blow to Chelsea who have slipped to sixth in the Premier League having lost five of their last 10 games in all competitions.
Manager Maurizio Sarri, who took over in July, is already under pressure and whether he survives or not Chelsea would need squad-strengthening in the close season.
The FA said in a statement it intended to appeal against the decision and was working with FIFA and Chelsea in a constructive manner to “address the issues” raised by the case.
By contesting the ban Chelsea could delay the sanction and be free to operate in the close season transfer window while the appeal is heard by FIFA’s Appeal Committee.
There is also the possibility of the matter ending up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In November, Chelsea said they were cooperating with a FIFA investigation into the transfer of minors after being identified by French investigative website Mediapart, one of several outlets publishing documents obtained by Football Leaks. (Reuters)
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