Chelsea have lost their appeal with FIFA after being handed a ban on signing first-team players.
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The Premier League side were banned from signing new players for the next two transfer windows by world soccer’s governing body, after a lengthy investigation saw FIFA charge them with breaking rules regarding the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.
That means Chelsea will not be able to sign any new players until the summer of 2020. FIFA have agreed to allow Chelsea to continue to sign players under the age of 16 from the UK, which is a small victory for the Blues.
However, the west London club said they are “disappointed” and will now launch an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to try and get the ban overturned.
“The Club notes that the FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea FC against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. However, the Club is very disappointed that the transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods was not overturned. Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Appeal Committee. It acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).”
So, Chelsea will take this case to CAS and that is their last chance of overturning this decision.
Maurizio Sarri‘s side have achieved their goal of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for next season, but the Italian coach knows it will be tough to kick on and challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title without reinforcements over the summer, especially if Eden Hazard leaves as expected.
USMNT star Christian Pulisic will be the only new arrival this summer after his January move to Stamford Bridge which saw him loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign.
But don’t get your violins out for Chelsea. They have a staggering number of players out on loan, and have stockpiled young talent for years. Next season is the perfect time to use the likes of Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kurt Zouma, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount to bolster their squad.
In the grand scheme of things, a two window transfer ban isn’t ideal for Chelsea, but even if Hazard leaves this summer they could cope and finish in the top four again in 2019-20.