Chelsea banned from signing players for two transfer windows
Things go from bad to catastrophic at Chelsea
Chelsea FC have been banned from registering any new players for the next two transfer windows, it has been confirmed.
The club have been sanctioned for breaching FIFA rules regarding the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. The club have also been handed a £460,000 fine.
This means they will have to wait until the summer of 2020 before they can register a new player.
A statement released on Friday reads: "The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the English club Chelsea FC and The Football Association for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
"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 futsal teams – 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 was also found to have breached the rules in connection with minors. It was fined CHF 510,000 and given a period of six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football.
"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 decisions issued by the Disciplinary Committee were notified today and can be contested before the FIFA Appeal Committee."
Both FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid have been hit with transfer bans for breaching the same rules in recent years. They were able to sign players during that time period but not register players in their squad. This meant that when Atlético Madrid signed Vitolo from Sevilla, he had to be loaned out to Sevilla for the first six months of the season before he could play for Atléti.
It also meant that Antoine Griezmann decided to stay at the club out of a sense of duty, which could offer Chelsea fans some hope regarding Eden Hazard's future.
When Barcelona were banned from registering players, they did still sign Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, both of whom have since left the club after failing to make any sort of impact. The pair also had to spend the first six months of their first season at the Nou Camp on the sidelines, as they were only allowed to take part in training.