ZURICH – English Premier League side Chelsea has been banned from signing any new players for the next two transfer windows in connection to violation in its contracting of under-18 players, said the international governing body for soccer, FIFA.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee also decided to impose a 600,000-Swiss franc ($599,690) fine on the London side and 510,000-Swiss franc fine on the English Football Association over the breach related to the signing of 29 youth players.
“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,” FIFA said in a statement on its website.
The ban, which includes both local British and foreign players, does not involve Chelsea’s women and futsal teams. Also, during the following two transfer windows, Chelsea will still be able to transfer its own players, according to the sanction.
“The protection of minors is a key element in FIFA’s overall regulatory framework relating to the transfer of players and effective enforcement of these rules is paramount, as also confirmed on various occasions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” the FIFA statement explained.
FIFA has given the English club 90 days to settle the alleged infractions against the minor players.
Chelsea, meanwhile, denied any wrongdoing.
“Initially, Chelsea FC was charged under Articles 19.1 and 19.3 in relation to 92 players. We welcome the fact that FIFA has accepted that there was no breach in relation to 63 of these players, but the club is extremely disappointed that FIFA has not accepted the club’s submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players,” the English club said in a statement on its official website.
“Chelsea FC acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to FIFA,” the Chelsea statement added.
The English side is not the first big European club that has faced such ban, as Barcelona was handed a two-window ban in 2014 that prevented the Catalan team from signing youth players during the 2015 winter and summer transfer windows.
Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid also had been banned from signing under-18 players on the same offenses.
Chelsea currently holds the sixth spot in the Premier League table with 50 points on goal differential behind Arsenal, having lost six league games, including a 6-0 rout by league-leader Manchester City on Feb. 10.