Chelsea have been accused, after an initial Fifa investigation, of breaking the rules on the signing of 25 foreign players under the age of 18. The number of cases could rise, with the matter now in the hands of the governing body’s disciplinary committee, which has the power to impose sanctions – chief among them a ban on transfers.
Chelsea have refuted claims they may have breached transfer regulations when signing young players from overseas.
Fifa announced last September that it was looking into alleged breaches at Chelsea when it came to the recruitment of youth players from overseas – making them the first English club to face such action.
Clubs are not permitted to sign players under the age of 18 from other countries unless their parents have emigrated for reasons not connected to football or both the player and club are based within 50km of a national border.
Fifa’s transfer matching system (TMS) flagged a total of 25 player cases in which it thought Chelsea might have transgressed and it passed its findings to the disciplinary committee, which is searching for further examples in a forensic look at the club’s academy. It is within its remit to discard any of the original 25 cases. The disciplinary committee can examine any incoming transfer over a period of 10 years.
It has requested information from Chelsea and is in contact with the Football Association.