Chelsea fail with transfer-ban appeal
Fifa has broadly rejected Chelsea's appeal against its two-window transfer ban for signing underage players, world football's governing body has announced.
The Premier League club were given the sanction, which runs until July 2020, in February and were also fined £460,000 for 29 breaches of the rules on the international transfer of minors.
Denying any wrongdoing, Chelsea immediately lodged an appeal, with the case heard by FIFA's appeal committee last month. In a statement, FIFA said it has "partially upheld" the appeal but only in the sense that Chelsea will now be allowed to sign players aged under 16, providing they come from within the European Economic Area.
The ban on signing over-16s remains in place, as does the fine, although it does not apply to the futsal or women's teams.
"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," it said.
Cross-border transfers of players aged under 18 are banned unless there are specific, non-football reasons for the player moving to the relevant country.
Meanwhile, N'Golo Kante will miss out in tonight's second leg of Chelsea's Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt due to a hamstring issue. It leaves the France World Cup-winner in a race against time to be fit for the Europa League final should Chelsea reach the May 29 showpiece. The game is level at 1-1 after the first leg.
Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt Live, BT Sport 3, 8.0