Chelsea have been hit with a transfer ban for the next two windows, after FIFA found them in breach of rules over the signings of players under the age of 18.
Chelsea have been banned from registering new players in the summer transfer window and next January, after being found guilty of breaching rules in the signings of as many as 29 U-18 players by FIFA, as confirmed by the governing body’s official website.
Chelsea have also been slapped with a £640,000 fine by FIFA and have been given 90 days to “regularise the situation”, while the English FA have also been ordered to pay a fine of £391,000 and told to address the situation within the next six months.
Chelsea have been under investigation by FIFA, sparked by the signing of Bertrand Traore in 2014, for the breach of rules for three years now. The Blues had initially been charged with irregularities in the signing of 93 players under the age of 18, but following an appeal and further investigation, the number has been reduced to 29.
Chelsea have already confirmed that they will be appealing the sanction by the game’s governing body. “Chelsea FC acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to FIFA,” the statement released by the club read.
There is a history of clubs being handed out transfer windows for breach of rules in transfer dealings related to under-age players. Most notably, La Liga heavyweights Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had been hit with bans not very long ago.
There could be serious repercussions for Chelsea ahead of the next season due to the transfer ban. The Blues haven’t been in the best of form of late, with manager Maurizio Sarri under serious pressure of late. The club looked like they were in need of some reinforcements in the summer window, if they are to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool next season.
However, the ban, subject to appeal, makes that difficult for Chelsea. They can rely on their loan army, with the likes of Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Tammy Abraham, among many others, all enjoying solid campaigns away from Stamford Bridge.
There is a silver lining for Chelsea though, they will be able to call on the services of Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic next season. Chelsea signed the USMNT international from Dortmund in the January transfer window, before loaning him back to the German Bundesliga leaders till the end of the season.
The ban will not have any effect on Pulisic’s arrival at the Bridge, considering that he is already on the club’s books since last month, before the sanctions were imposed.
As things stand, Chelsea are set to appeal FIFA’s decision, but it remains to be seen if the appeal bears any fruit. For now, they can take comfort in the fact that Pulisic will be arriving to boost their attacking ranks next summer.