FIFA announced earlier today that Chelsea are banned from signing new players for the next two transfer windows.
The FIFA disciplinary committee has sanctioned Chelsea and the Football Association (FA) for breaches related to “international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.”
The ban, however, will not apply to Chelsea’s women’s and futsal teams.
In addition to the ban, Chelsea have also been fined £460,000. FIFA has imposed a further £390,000 fine on the FA.
The ban comes following FIFA’s investigation into Chelsea’s signing of underage players, including Bertrand Traore. The investigation disclosed that a breach was found in 29 cases.
In an official statement, FIFA has given the FA “six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football.”
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 more on @FIFAcom ▶️ https://t.co/iTpcozM7Mz
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 22, 2019
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 22, 2019
A statement from FA confirms that the association will contest the decision.
“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,” the statement read.
Why the ban?
According to BBC, French website Mediapart alleged that 14 signings of the 19 investigated were of the players under the age of 18. The investigation was made based on the documents from Football Leaks.
The case of Bertrand Traore stands out among the rest. He signed his first professional contract with Chelsea in 2013 at the age of 18, but wasn’t registered until January 2014.
Mediapart further alleged that Chelsea misled FIFA over the dates while Traore had already made 25 appearances for Chelsea across different age-group sides. During this time, the Burkina Faso international wasn’t registered as a Chelsea player with the Football Association.
.@ChelseaFC have been banned from signing players for two transfer windows after being found guilty by FIFA of breaching rules about signing minors. ✍❌
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 22, 2019
Chelsea have been given a two-transfer window ban for breaching rules around the transfer of minors. Spurs have just completed their two window ban and have been fine…..I know, it wasn’t a ban.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 22, 2019
In a statement in November, Chelsea stated that it had “provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable Fifa regulations.”
What do the FIFA rules say?
In the transfers concerning players under the age of 18, FIFA maintains a strict guideline.
According to the rules, an under-18 player can only move abroad if,
- The player’s parents move with him to the country for non-footballing reasons.
- Both clubs are in EU or EEA and that the player is aged between 16-18. Further rules apply on education, living conditions, training and support.
- The player lives within 100 km of the club.