Football News

Chelsea free to sign players in January window after Fifa reduce transfer ban

By Harry Edwards

Published: 11:14, 6 December 2019

Chelsea will be able to sign players in January after their transfer ban was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Blues had initially been handed a two-window transfer ban for breaching Fifa regulations on status and transfer of players involving minors. They were also fined £460,000.

Chelsea served the first window in the summer, a crucial time for the club as Maurizio Sarri was replaced by Frank Lampard. Mateo Kovacic’s loan deal turning permanent was the only arrival at the club.

Chelsea’s transfer ban reduced: Five things to know…

  • Chelsea were banned from signing players for two windows after breaching Fifa regulations on transfer of players involving minors.
  • They were also fined £460,000.
  • The Blues served the first window in the summer but had appealed their ban.
  • And they have now seen their ban reduced to one window by the Court for Arbitration of Sport.
  • Chelsea will now be free to sign players in the upcoming transfer window.

It meant Chelsea had to rely on their returning loanees for Lampard’s first season and the Blues have enjoyed considerable success, performing above expectations.

Tammy Abraham is the club’s top scorer, grabbing 11 goals in the Premier League while also adding three assists. Mason Mount has also contributed to the goals scoring five and recording one assist, with only Abraham and Christian Pulisic (five goals, two assists) directly involved in more Chelsea goals this season. Fikayo Tomori and Reece James have also broken through to the first-team becoming increasingly key members as Chelsea have been heralded for the use of their academy graduates.

When the ban was first announced, Chelsea had also been clear on their intentions to appeal, first sending their case to Fifa.

However, that appeal was rejected, so the Blues turned to CAS and their case was heard on November 20. The outcome determined by CAS is to reduce the Blues’ transfer ban to one window, which Chelsea served in the summer, while their fine has also been halved.

One reason for this has been revealed. According to a CAS statement, Chelsea’s violations of the regulations being significantly smaller than the initial number in Fifa’s report: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Chelsea Football Club Ltd (CFC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

“The FIFA Appeal Committee decision dated 11 April 2019, in which CFC was declared liable for violations of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) and banned from registering new players, nationally and internationally, for two (2) entire and consecutive registration periods, fined CHF 600,000, reprimanded and warned on its future conduct, has been modified.

“The following sanctions have now been imposed by the CAS:

“CFC is banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for one (1) entire registration period, which the club already served during the 2019 summer registration period;

“CFC is ordered to pay a fine to FIFA of the amount of CHF 300,000 (three hundred thousand Swiss France).

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“The warning and the reprimand are confirmed.

“A CAS arbitration procedure was initiated in June 2019, following the receipt of CFC’s appeal, and conducted by a Sole Arbitrator (Prof. Massimo Coccia (Italy)). The club did not file any application for provisional measures but requested that a final decision be rendered before the end of 2019. A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 20 November 2019.

“The Sole Arbitrator found that CFC did violate Articles 19.1 (related to the international transfer of minors) and 19.3 (related to the first registration of minors) of the RSTP, but for a significantly smaller number of players (about 1/3 of the violations found by FIFA). In addition, the violations of other RSTP rules were found to be less serious than those attributed to Chelsea FC by FIFA. Accordingly, the Sole Arbitrator reduced the sanction to one single transfer ban (which Chelsea FC already served during the 2019 summer registration period), and halved the monetary sanction.

“In view of the upcoming transfer window, the Sole Arbitrator issued his decision without the grounds. The reasoned award is being prepared and is expected to be notified to the parties in early 2020.”

Chelsea play Everton in their next game on Saturday morning at Goodison Road.