- In a statement of its own, Chelsea revealed its intention to appeal the decision, a move which stands a fair chance of at least partially overturning the ban.
Written By Cy Brown - English Premier League club Chelsea F.C. has been banned by FIFA from making new signings in the next two transfer windows after the club was found guilty of breaking rules regarding foreign players under the age of 18. The Blues will not be able to sign players again until the 2020 summer window, however, they can still sign players on free transfers and recall players from loan.
The ban stems from an investigation by FIFA into how Chelsea registers players within its academy. Soccer's governing body reviewed more than 100 young player cases at the London-based club before reaching its final decision.
In a statement released Friday morning, FIFA said Chelsea had “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 statement continued that the London-based club had “also breached art. 18bis of the Regulations in connection with two agreements it concluded concerning minors and which allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer-related matters.”
In addition to the ban, Chelsea was also fined $599,000 and has been “given a period of 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned.”
In a statement of its own, Chelsea revealed its intention to appeal the decision, a move which stands a fair chance of at least partially overturning the ban. FIFA banned Real Madrid for two transfer windows in 2017 but reduced the ban to only the January 2017 window on appeal.
“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.”
The ban will come as a major hit to a club that is already floundering under the leadership of Maurizio Sarri. Should Sarri be sacked this season, it may be difficult for the club to find a high-caliber manager willing to take the job without the ability to make signings. However, the club does have an extensive list of loaned out players who they could recall for next season. American sensation Christian Pulisic is also set to join the club from Borussia Dortmund in the summer after the two sides finalized a deal in January.
About the author, Cy Brown:
I am a freelance writer/blogger/reporter covering anything and everything in sports. My work has appeared on sites such as Bitter Southerner, Deadspin, DawgNation and Sports On Earth, where I covered world soccer and the intersection of sports and pop culture. My focus is on soccer — specifically the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and international competitions — and college football, but I have written about the NFL, NBA, MLB college basketball, the Olympics, tennis, golf and pretty much any other sport you can think of. I write a lot about Arsenal FC, the U.S. men's and women's national soccer teams and the Georgia Bulldogs. If any of that sounds up your alley, follow me on Twitter @cepbrown.