Chelsea file appeal to FIFA against transfer ban
Darren Walsh / Chelsea FC / Getty

Chelsea are fighting their ban from signing players for the next two transfer windows.

FIFA confirmed Tuesday it has received an appeal from the Blues, according to the Associated Press. Football's world governing body determined the club had fallen foul of rules regarding the signing of under-18 players in 29 cases out of 92 investigated.

"There is no exact timetable for the hearings and decisions taken by the FIFA appeal committee," FIFA said of the appeal.

Chelsea's transfer ban could be frozen until their appeal is answered. Barcelona had a similar punishment delayed for a year, allowing the Catalan giants to sign Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Jeremy Mathieu, and Claudio Bravo before being barred from buying for 14 months.

As BBC Sport details, FIFA regulations only allow an under-18 player to move abroad if:

  • The player's parents move to the country where the new club is located is for non-footballing reasons.
  • Both clubs are in the European Union or European Economic Area and the player is aged 16-18. The buying club must then meet more criteria relating to education, living conditions, training, and support.
  • They live within 100 kilometers of the club.

One notable transaction that allegedly breached FIFA laws was Chelsea's capture of Bertrand Traore in 2013, according to BBC Sport. Mediapart found the attacker, who is now a regular for Lyon in Ligue 1, made 25 appearances beginning at the under-16 level for Chelsea before he was registered by the Football Association.

Chelsea also admitted to paying Traore's mother and the club she chaired a total of £168,000 for the right of first refusal on the player. That agreement apparently lasted four-and-a-half years, comfortably passing FIFA's three-year limit on restrictions for under-18 players.

It's additionally alleged that Chelsea paid Traore's £20,000-a-year fees for the Whitgift School in Surrey, which would also contravene FIFA rules.

Chelsea would still be able to sell players during a transfer ban, meaning Eden Hazard's long-rumored switch to Real Madrid could be ratified. If Chelsea's FIFA appeal is unsuccessful, they can submit their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Chelsea file appeal to FIFA against transfer ban
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