The FIFA disciplinary committee has banned the English Premier League club Chelsea from signing players in the next two transfer windows.
The decision came after the club was found to have breached FIFA rules relating to international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. The punishment means that Chelsea will not be able to register new players at both national and international level for next two registration periods.
Moreover, the club has been fined with $599,535 and is given 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned.
"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," FIFA said in a statement.
"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. 18b is 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 statement added.
The ban is applicable to the whole club except for women's and futsal teams.
Reacting on the ban, Chelsea categorically refuted the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and confirmed that they would appeal the decision.
"Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision," the club said in a statement.
The Football Association, the governing body of association football in England, was also found to have breached the rules in connection with minors. It was fined $509,630 and given a period of six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football.
The decisions issued by the disciplinary committee can be contested before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
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