Sport Soccer

Monday 19 February 2018

Who is Bertrand Traore and why could his transfer to Chelsea interest FIFA

Bertrand Traore played for Chelsea when he was 16, apparently against FIFA regulations
Bertrand Traore played for Chelsea when he was 16, apparently against FIFA regulations

Emerged at the 2009 FIFA under-17 World Cup. At 14 he was the youngest player in the tournament.

He agreed a move to Chelsea in August 2010, according to Burkina Faso sports minister Jean-Pierre Palm, one month prior to his 15th birthday.

FIFA regulations say players aged over 16 can move within the EU, but broader international transfers must be over 18. Rule 19.1 on the protection of minors states: "International transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18." Barcelona were handed a transfer embargo after being found guilty of breaching the regulation. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are contesting similar sanctions.

Traore played for Chelsea under-18s in a friendly at Arsenal in October 2011, when he was 16. Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and goalkeeper Jamal Blackman, who have both also been members of Chelsea's first-team squad, played that day, too.

He travelled on Chelsea's pre-season tour to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta in July 2013, playing as a trialist and scoring against a Malaysia XI.

He officially signed for Chelsea on January 1, 2014, the first day of the transfer window which followed his 18th birthday (on September 6, 2013). He was immediately loaned to Vitesse Arnhem, with whom Chelsea have close links, and spent 18 months with the Dutch side in the Eredivisie.

In June 2015 he was granted a work permit to stay in England and he joined Chelsea's first-team squad for the tour to North America, staying with the group when the season began.

He attended the fee-paying Whitgift School in Croydon, south London, for sixth-form, but did not play in school competitions. The school's head of football is former Chelsea player Colin Pates. Traore became Whitgift's first full football international, with Victor Moses following when he represented Nigeria.

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