World football governing body, FIFA on Wednesday said that they have upheld Chelsea’s one-year transfer ban but the English Premier League club will be able to register youth players during the period following an appeal.
Chelsea were fined 600,000 Swiss francs (453,404.9 pounds) and sanctioned in February in relation to 29 cases where regulations relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18 were breached.
Chelsea lost their appeal to Fifa over their punishment for breaching rules in relation to signing young players and released a statement that said: “Chelsea FC has today received the decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee.
“The Club notes that the FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea FC against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. However, the Club is very disappointed that the transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods was not overturned.
“Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Appeal Committee. It acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).”
The only concession made by Fifa was that, under the terms of their ban, Chelsea would still be able to sign under-16 players.
But Chelsea hope to at least get the ban frozen by taking their appeal to CAS, which could allow them to sign players this summer, while they wait to find out whether or not it can be overturned or reduced.
Fifa had turned down a request from Chelsea to freeze the ban while they considered the club’s appeal, but the relatively quick resolution has given the Blues time to go to CAS before the transfer window re-opens.
A statement from Fifa, who also hit Chelsea with a £460,000 fine, said: “The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea FC against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to sanction the club with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods.
“This ban applied to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and did not prevent the release of players.
With respect to all men’s teams, the ban on registering new players, both nationally and internationally for two registration periods, has been confirmed by the FIFA Appeal Committee, with the following exception: The FIFA Appeal Committee believes that Chelsea’s wrongdoing consisted in not respecting the prohibition from internationally transferring or registering for the first time foreign minor players. In the committee´s opinion, imposing a ban on registering each and every minor would not be proportionate to the offence committed.
“Consequently, the FIFA Appeal Committee decided that, as far as youth categories are concerned, the ban shall not cover the registration of minor players under the age of 16 who do not fall under the scope of art. 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, which refers to international transfers and first registrations of foreign minor players. Additionally, the FIFA Appeal Committee confirmed the fine of CHF 600,000. The decision issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee was notified today.”
The FIFA Appeal Committee however decided the club can still sign players under the age of 16 as they concluded imposing a ban on registering each and every minor “would not be proportionate to the offence committed”.
The next step for Chelsea could see them take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to try and freeze or overturn the ban.
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