Football news - Chelsea handed transfer ban for two windows by FIFA
Chelsea have been hit with a transfer ban for the next two windows after the club were found to be in breach of transfer regulations “relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18”.
Chelsea were found to have breached article 19 of the regulations in the case of 29 minor players and to have committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players, FIFA said.
The ban means Chelsea will be unable to sign players until the 2020 summer window but the London club are have announced their intention to appeal 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,” read a statement on FIFA’s website.
" 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 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 (£460,575) and given a period of 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned."
CHELSEA TO APPEAL FIFA TRANSFER BAN
Chelsea released a statement later on Friday to "categorically refute" the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and announce their intention to appeal their two-window ban.
“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.”
FA ALSO SANCTIONED
FIFA added that the Football Association had also been sanctioned.
“The Football Association was also found to have breached the rules in connection with minors. It was fined CHF 510,000 (£391,486) and given a period of six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football," added the statement.
“The decisions issued by the Disciplinary Committee were notified today and can be contested before the FIFA Appeal Committee.”
FIFA operate strict rules over the transfer of under 18s, designed to safeguard against exploitation and trafficking.
Players aged 18 or under can only be transferred abroad if one of three criteria are met: if their parents emigrated for non-footballing reasons, both clubs are in the EU or European Economic Area and the player is aged between 16 and 18 or the player lives within 100km of the new club.
They are not the first big club to fall foul of FIFA's rules on under 18s.
Barcelona were hit with a transfer ban of two windows in 2014 but delayed it by six months by lodging an appeal, which although eventually dismissed, allowed them to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool and Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla.
Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic (Tottenham Hotspur vs. FC Barcelona)Getty Images
Both moves were key to Barca winning a treble of the Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey the following season.
Real Madrid successfully appealed to CAS after being hit with a one-year ban in 2016 which was reduced to six months, meaning they only missed the January 2017 window.
Atletico Madrid, also banned for a year in 2016, saw their appeal fail, however, and were unable to add players in January or the close season of 2017.
With additional reporting from agencies