Chelsea ‘astonished’ after Fifa refuse to freeze transfer ban

Chelsea say they are “astonished” after Fifa rejected the club’s request for a transfer ban to be suspended until an appeal is heard. 

Chelsea have lodged an appeal against a transfer embargo imposed for breaching rules on signing young players.

Fifa announced last month that Chelsea will be banned from signing new players in the next two transfer windows for breaking rules on international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

Fifa said it found breaches in 29 cases, including Chelsea’s pursuit of Bertrand Traore.

Chelsea have also been fined 600,000 Swiss francs (around £460,000), while Football Association has been fined 510,000 Swiss francs (around £391,000).

Chelsea responded by announcing they would appeal against the decision and said the club “categorically refutes the findings of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee.”

That appeal has since been formally submitted and Chelsea had hoped to be given the green light to sign players this summer.

But Fifa have refused to implement provisional measures which would have delayed the imposition of the transfer ban.

The decision means Chelsea would now have to take the issue to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in order to obtain an interim ruling.

A Chelsea statement read: “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.”

Traore, who has signed moved to French club Lyon, signed his first professional contract at Chelsea in 2013 at the age of 18 but was not registered until January the following.

Traore was signed by Chelsea in 2013

Traore was found to have made 25 appearances for the Blues at different levels, including the first team, despite not being registered by the FA.

Chelsea admitted they paid his mother £155,000, as well as a further £13,000 to the club she chaired – AJE Bobo-Dioulasso – in April 2011 to allow them first refusal on his signing.

It has been alleged that deal was for four and a half years, despite the limit for under-18s being three years.

It is also claimed Chelsea paid for Traore to attend the Whitgift School in Surrey at a cost of £20,000 per year.

In a statement in November, Chelsea said it had “fully co-operated with Fifa” and had “provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable Fifa regulations”.