Chelsea are set to hear from Fifa whether they will be banned from the transfer market after being investigated over potential rule breaches with regard to more than 100 foreign players under the age of 18.
The governing body has overseen a long-running case against the club, which was started by the compliance unit of its transfer matching system (TMS). It flagged 25 player cases at the beginning of last year which it thought warranted further scrutiny.
Fifa’s disciplinary committee has since conducted phase two of the investigation – a deep dive into how Chelsea have registered players at their academy over a number of years. The club responded to a request for information by opening their books to the committee which, in turn, highlighted a high number of cases to examine.
The committee is now considering its final decision, meaning Chelsea should know soon whether they will face any sanctions. If found guilty, a transfer ban would be expected. The club would be able to appeal to Fifa and then to the court of arbitration for sport (Cas).
The basic rule is that clubs cannot bring in players under 18 from other countries, unless their parents have emigrated for reasons not connected to football or both the player and club are based within 50km of a national border. Under Fifa’s article 19, the only other exception is for transfers within either the European Union or European Economic Area where the player is aged between 16 and 18.
Chelsea contend that the majority of the 100-plus player cases involved short-term triallists at their academy, who did not go on to sign for them.
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