Chelsea's Request for Freeze on Transfer Ban Denied by FIFA

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri looks on during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Chelsea and Dynamo Kyiv at Stamford Bridge on March 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

FIFA has rejected Chelsea's request to freeze a transfer ban imposed on the Blues by the governing body.

The Stamford Bridge club have been banned from registering new signings until the January transfer window in 2020 due to breaking rules over signing young players from abroad.

BBC Sport's Richard Conway reported Chelsea could now take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport "for an interim ruling," which would allow new players to arrive at the club this summer.

Chelsea were handed the punishment after FIFA investigated a number of cases involving under-18 players from outside of England.

A press release on FIFA's official website explained the details of the punishment on February 22:

"Chelsea was found to have breached art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of twenty-nine (29) minor players and to have committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players. The club also breached art. 18bis of the Regulations in connection with two agreements it concluded concerning minors and which allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer-related matters."

"The Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two (2) complete and consecutive registration periods. This ban applies to the club as a whole—with the exception of the women's and futsalteams—and does not prevent the release of players."

"Additionally, the club was fined CHF 600,000 and given a period of 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned."

The Football Association also received a fine as part of the process. 

FIFA has previously allowed transfer bans to be shelved during the appeals process, but it appears to have taken a robust stance on Chelsea's case.

In a statement issued on Chelsea's official website on Friday, the Blues said they were "astonished" by FIFA's latest decision.

"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."