Chelsea are among the five Premier League clubs who face a potential transfer ban by FIFA due to the signing of foreign players under the age of 18. Investigations with relation to the same are ongoing and a decision could be taken soon.
French website Mediapart have published some of the documents obtained by Football Leaks which claim that Fifa’s Integrity and Compliance unit has suggested that a two-year (four-window) transfer ban should be imposed on Chelsea.
However, Telegraph claim that the London-based club are not the only Premier League side under threat of being handed a transfer ban. “This a massive investigation that will implicate a number of clubs. It will touch most of the big clubs around Europe and in the Premier League,” a source close to Telegraph revealed.
It is believed that signing of 14 under-18 players by Chelsea is under investigation. Bertrand Traore’s signing by the club is a part of the FIFA investigation as well. The Burkina Faso forward, who now plays for Lyon, played for the Blues’ under-18 side when his age was only 16 years.
The identity of the four other clubs involved in the investigation is not yet clear, however, presumably, Manchester City are a part of it as well. Manchester United, who are among the clubs with most number of minor signings between 2013 and 2017, are not a part of the investigation.
A FIFA spokesman said: “As communicated in September 2017, investigations were opened concerning the club Chelsea FC as well as other English clubs in relation to potential breaches of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
“The proceedings are ongoing and, to date, no decision has been passed by the Fifa judicial bodies. Thus, the clubs are to be presumed innocent unless decided otherwise. No further information can be provided as the cases are ongoing. Any update will be communicated in due course.”
Chelsea released a statement as well claiming their full cooperation in the ongoing investigation. “The club has fully cooperated with Fifa and has provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable Fifa regulations.”
FIFA guidelines forbid the signing of foreign players under the age of 18. The signing(s) can only be carried out if the player(s) in question’s parents migrated to the country for non-footballing reasons or if both the club and the player are based within 50 km of an international border.
Moreover, for transfers within either the European Union or European Economic Area, the minimum age of the player has been set at 16 with the club handling the responsibility of his education and standard of living.