Monday 25 March 2019

Chelsea 'categorically refute findings' as Premier League club handed two-window transfer ban by Fifa

Chelsea have promised firm action (Steven Paston/PA)
Chelsea have promised firm action (Steven Paston/PA)

Matt McGeehan

Chelsea and the Football Association have been sanctioned by FIFA's disciplinary committee for breaching regulations over the transfer of minors, the world governing body has announced.

The Blues have been banned from registering players for two consecutive transfer windows for 29 incidences of breaching article 19, which relates to the transfer of players aged under 18.

The London club were also fined 600,000 Swiss francs (over £460,000), while the FA has been fined 510,000 Swiss francs (over £390,000) for breaching the rules in connection with minors.

Chelsea also twice breached regulations relating to third-party influence, article 18bis, FIFA said.

"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," FIFA's statement read.

"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 club 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.

"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."

Prior instances of similar infractions involving other clubs have seen the clubs involved appeal against the penalties, delaying the implementation of a registration ban and allowing them to sign players.

Chelsea responded to FIFA's decision in a statement on their website which read: "Chelsea have today received a decision from the FIFA Disciplinary Committee concerning alleged breaches of the FIFA Regulations that relate to the international transfer of players under the age of 18.

"The decision imposes a transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods and a fine of 600,000 Swiss francs. Chelsea categorically refute the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision.

"The club wish to emphasise that they respect the important work undertaken by FIFA in relation to the protection of minors and have fully cooperated with FIFA throughout its investigation.

"Initially, Chelsea were charged under Articles 19.1 and 19.3 in relation to 92 players.

"We welcome the fact that FIFA has accepted that there was no breach in relation to 63 of these players, but the club are extremely disappointed that FIFA has not accepted the club's submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players.

"Chelsea acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to FIFA."

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