Two transfer-window ban upheld as FIFA broadly reject Chelsea appeal
Chelsea's appeal over a transfer ban that will block them from signing players for two windows, but they are now expected to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
FIFA imposed the punishment on Chelsea after they were deemed to have broken transfer rules over the signing of junior players, with the CAS appeal offering the possibility for the Stamford Bridge club to have the ban on signing new players suspended until next January's transfer window.
However, this latest development is a blow to Chelsea, who have also been hit with a £460,000 fine by FIFA as part of their punishment, with the game's governing body issuing this statement as they confirmed the outcome of the appeal hearing:
"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 efers to international transfers and first registrations of foreign minor players.
Chelsea now face an uncertain summer, with star man Eden Hazard likely to push to secure a move away from the club amid strong transfer interest from Real Madrid.