Chelsea are one of five Premier League clubs being investigated by FIFA over possible violations of rules on signing under-18 foreign players.
FIFA’s regulations prevent overseas players under the age of 18 moving to a club in a new country unless their parents have emigrated for non-footballing reasons, or if both the club and player in question are based with 50km of a national border.
Chelsea are alleged to have broken to rules to sign Bertrand Traore, the forward who now plays for Lyon. He officially signed for the Stamford Bridge club on January 1, 2014 – the first day of the first transfer window following his 18th birthday.
However, FIFA are believed to have learned that Traore had actually played for Chelsea’s Under-18s when he was still just 16, while the club later admitted to agreeing on a deal with the player’s mother for first-refusal on his signature, back in 2011.
A Chelsea statement read: “The club has fully co-operated with Fifa and has provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable Fifa regulations. We will not comment further on speculation concerning confidential contracts or player-related matters.”
Should they be found guilty of breaking FIFA’s regulations, Chelsea faces a transfer ban lasting two years, or four transfer windows.
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