FIFA Probes Chelsea Over Player Regulations Breach
Chelsea is once again being investigated for breaching FIFA regulations involving signing foreign players under the age of 18. The world governing body confirmed on Tuesday, that they had launched a “thorough investigation” into a potential impropriety involving youth players.
A Chelsea spokesperson, however, refuted all claims of the side having any wrongdoings saying, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Chelsea FC complies with all FIFA Statutes and regulations when recruiting a player.”[/perfectpullquote]
This is nonetheless the third time the English champions have been investigated for breaching rules involving minors in eight years. The side was previously banned from signing any players for two transfer windows because of Gael Kakuta’s move from Lens in 2007 but successfully appealed the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
FIFA’s disciplinary committee also investigated Bertrand Traore’s transfer to the club after getting pictures of the midfielder playing for the side at 16 years of age before he got his international clearance.
With FIFA looking to fight Europe’s powerful clubs from abusing the transfer system, they filed an investigation into the matter despite the Premier League FA confirming Chelsea used the correct procedures to sign Traore in 2014.
Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are the most recent culprits for using international players, under the age of 18 in competitions.
Real Madrid was given a two-year transfer ban last year but saw it reduced to one after an appeal while Atletico Madrid is still serving a 2-year transfer ban after its appeal was rejected.
Chelsea is however not the only English PL side to be investigated for improper conduct surrounding domestic academy players in the last six months. Both Liverpool and Manchester City have been banned for two years from signing academy players due to tapping-up.
Man City was charged for contacting the player’s parents too early in the recruitment process while Liverpool received the ban for offering inducements to a Stoke City schoolboy and his family.
FIFA’s ruling on the transfer of under-18s
FIFA bans the transfer of under-18s to different countries unless they meet strict criteria. It brought in the rules to help protect children from exploitation and trafficking.
Under-18s can only be transferred abroad if:
- The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasons.
- Both clubs are in the European Union or European Economic Area and the player is aged between 16 and 18 – even then the buying club must meet more criteria relating to education, training, living conditions and support.
- They live within 100km of the club.
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