Chelsea face a two-year transfer ban, allegedly recommended by FIFA’s integrity and compliance unit, over their signing of foreign under-18 players.
According to documents from Football Leaks, French website Mediapart claims 19 of the club’s signings — 14 of which were under the age of 18 — have been looked at in a three year-long investigation. Former striker Bertrand Traore is the most well-known of the players, and allegedly the most egregious of the transfers, in question.
It is alleged that Chelsea misled FIFA over the date Traore signed his first professional contract with the club and when he was registered with the English Football Association. The Burkinabe forward made 25 appearances — at under-16, under-18 and first-team levels — for Chelsea despite allegedly not being registered with the FA.
His initial contract is also alleged to have been a four-and-a-half-year deal, when the limit for players under the age of 18 is capped at three years.
FIFA transfer rules stipulate that players can only be transferred to another country if the player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasons.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid each endured transfer bans for similar misdeeds with under-18 signings in recent years.