Concise News reports that the transfer ban was placed on the Blues’ for their failure to comply with Article 19 (Protection of Minors) while also breaching Article 18bis (Third Party Influence on Clubs) of FIFA regulations.
The statement released by FIFA basically states that the governing body has decided to partially uphold the transfer sanction which was placed on the London club, and would have applied to the entire club, with the exception of women and futsal teams.
Surprisingly, Chelsea are still allowed to sign under-16 players, provided they follow the rules to the dot while doing so. This is indeed ironic, considering that Chelsea got into this issue due to the breach of same youth transfers that they are still allowed to partake in. Additionally, the club’s CHF 600,000 fine was maintained.
Here is the full statement released by FIFA:
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 refers to international transfers and first registrations of foreign minor players.
Additionally, the FIFA Appeal Committee confirmed the fine of CHF 600,000. The decision issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee was notified today.”
The transfer appeal being upheld really was not that surprising, and it does not change much. Chelsea will still appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as was the plan before, and then hope that their verdict will be massively different to the one they have just received.
Nevertheless, it is certainly good that FIFA passed their ruling so early on as it is still just May. That should give Chelsea enough time to appeal to CAS and hopefully get a ruling in their favour if it so happens. Or, at the very least, freeze the ban for one window so it gives them a chance to shore up squad weaknesses before the ban starts.