The crusade of FIFA against the hiring of underage players has resulted in another harsh penalty against one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Chelsea. 

After the sanctions imposed in the last three years on Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, this time it is Chelsea who will have to take a penalty of two transfer windows without being able to register players.

The Ban and the Fine

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided this Friday to sanction Chelsea and the English Football Association for having infringed the regulations regarding the transfer of underage foreigners. The English club cannot hire players for any of their male teams in the next two transfer windows of signings for having skipped the rules at the time of incorporating 29 players to feed their subsidiary.

In addition to the ban, Chelsea must pay a fine of 600,000 Swiss francs (about 681,000 euros) and regulate the situation of young people signed in a period of 90 days. For its part, the English Football Association will have to pay 510,000 Swiss francs (about 579,000 euros) and regulate the situation regarding international transfers and registration of children under 18 years in English football.

“The protection of minors is a key element within FIFA regulations and compliance with this is fundamental, as has been confirmed on several occasions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” says FIFA.

The Investigation

Chelsea was being investigated for more than 100 cases. Through a statement, “categorically refutes” the sanction and will go before the Appeals Commission. It is not the first time that the club receives a FIFA sanction. In fact, he received the same penalty in 2009 by the signing of French Gael Kakuta, a Rayo Vallecano player now. Finally, the sanction was in a single transfer period after Chelsea and Lens reached an agreement to resolve the conflict.

Eden Hazard case

It is a punishment that also complicates the arrival of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid next summer. The Belgian has already expressed on several occasions his desire to sign for the Madrid club, but the ban ends the contract in June 2020, just when he will conclude the sanction to the London club. And if there are no signings, it is difficult for Chelsea to let out their star and captain. The only possibility for Hazard to leave next summer is to refuse to renew his contract and the English club prefers to receive the money of his transfer, which would always be greater than one hundred million euros, to let him go free in the summer of 2020.

Club speaks

After knowing the penalty, the London team, whose owner is the Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, responded immediately to FIFA in a statement:

“We welcome the fact 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. Chelsea acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to Fifa.”

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