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FIFA refuse to freeze Chelsea’s transfer ban; club ‘astonished’

Manchester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Eden Hazard of Chelsea looks dejected during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Etihad Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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Chelsea’s transfer ban now seems slightly more definitive than it did a few days ago.

FIFA have confirmed that they will not suspend Chelsea’s ban on signing and registering new players while the club appeal their one-year transfer ban.

Our partners at Sky Sports have more on the developing situation.

Chelsea have released a statement on the decision, saying they are “astonished” that this decision has been made.

“Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the FIFA Appeal Committee’s decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process. The club acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and has already notified FIFA of its intention to appeal against the Disciplinary Committee’s decision and sanction. As a matter of procedural fairness and equality of treatment, and Swiss law, the Club’s right to an appeal process must be afforded, before any irremediable sanction takes effect.

“So far as the Club is aware, in all previous cases where a registration ban has been imposed by FIFA, a decision has also been made to suspend the sanction until the appeal process has been completed. In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs. We will consider our next steps once we have received the written reasons for this decision from FIFA. The Club notes the Appeal Committee’s statement that it has the right to appeal to CAS. In the meantime the Club will continue to fully cooperate with the proceedings.”

In previous cases involving Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, an appeal led to clubs buying plenty of players in their final transfer window before they were banned. In a way, stockpiling talent to counteract a ban on transfers.

However, Chelsea will not be able to do this and their transfer ban will kick in for this summer and the January 2020 window.

“We can confirm that the Chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee has rejected the application for provisional measures filed by Chelsea FC in relation to the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee,” FIFA said in a statement.

Chelsea can still appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but unlike the Spanish clubs they will now have to prepare to not sign a single player until the summer of 2020.

The Premier League club were banned from signing new players for the next two transfer windows (so, until the summer of 2020) for allegedly breaking FIFA’s laws around signing overseas players under the age of 18.

Chelsea previously released a statement saying they “categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision.”

Chelsea are accused of breaking FIFA’s rules over 29 players they signed under the age of 18.

The results of a three-year investigation into the signing of players under the age of 18 led to FIFA imposing the two-window transfer ban on the west London club, while they have also been fined $600,000 along with the English Football Association who have been fined $509,000.

It is illegal under rules for clubs to sign foreign players unless their family move for non-soccer reasons, the club is within 100km of the players’ home or if the clubs they are transferring to are both in the EU and the player is aged 16-18. In the latter case there are several guidelines which must be followed including housing, education and living fees.

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