Chelsea have lost their appeal to Fifa over their two-window transfer ban for breaching rules in relation to signing young players and will now have to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Fifa have announced that, as expected, they have upheld the ban that would prevent Chelsea from signing players in the summer and January transfer windows.
The only concession made by Fifa is that, under the ban, Chelsea would still be able to sign under-16 players.
But Chelsea could yet get the ban frozen by taking their appeal to CAS, which could allow them to sign players this summer.
Fifa had turned down a request from Chelsea to freeze the ban while they considered the club’s appeal, but the relatively quick resolution still gives the Blues time to go to CAS before the transfer window re-opens.
A statement from Fifa, who also hit Chelsea with a £460,000 fine, said: “The FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea FC against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to sanction the club with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods.
“This ban applied to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and did not prevent the release of players.
With respect to all men’s teams, the ban on registering new players, both nationally and internationally for two registration periods, has been confirmed by the FIFA Appeal Committee, with the following exception: The FIFA Appeal Committee believes that Chelsea’s wrongdoing consisted in not respecting the prohibition from internationally transferring or registering for the first time foreign minor players. In the committee´s opinion, imposing a ban on registering each and every minor would not be proportionate to the offence committed.
“Consequently, the FIFA Appeal Committee decided that, as far as youth categories are concerned, the ban shall not cover the registration of minor players under the age of 16 who do not fall under the scope of art. 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, which refers to international transfers and first registrations of foreign minor players.
Additionally, the FIFA Appeal Committee confirmed the fine of CHF 600,000. The decision issued by the FIFA Appeal Committee was notified today.”