Chelsea and four other Premier League clubs under FIFA investigation

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Youth Cup Semi Final: Second Leg
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Youth Cup Semi Final: Second Leg
James Alonge
Modified 15 Nov 2018

The Telegraph Sport UK reports that Chelsea are one of the five Premier League clubs to be under FIFA investigation for breaching the rules concerning the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

FIFA rules prohibits the signing of players under 18 years by football clubs. The exception to this rule is only if the parents of the player have emigrated to the country where the club is based for non-footballing reasons, or if both the player and the club are based within 31 miles of the national border.

Another exception to this rule is that if the transfer takes place with the European union or European economic area, the "buying" club still has to see to it that the player's education is well-taken care of, as well as maintaining a high standard of living.

This investigation comes on the heels of Chelsea's controversial signing of Bertrand Traore, who was signed in 2014 before he turned 18. This led to FIFA investigating another 14 players signed by the club.

Although Traore now plays for Ligue One side Olympique Lyon after Chelsea sold him in 2017, they still exercise first refusal if they choose to buy back the Burkinabe. This still would not prevent them from being investigated and face a potential ban from FIFA.

Bertrand Traore in Chelsea
Bertrand Traore in Chelsea's colours

Sources close to FIFA revealed to The Telegraph Sport that Chelsea are among four other clubs who are under investigation.

“This is a massive investigation that will implicate a number of clubs," said the source. "It will touch most of the big clubs around Europe and in the Premier League.”

Chelsea were banned from signing players in 2009 and were not able to sign players for two consecutive transfer windows. Although the penalty was overturned on appeal, they were still put under a negative spotlight for the signing of young prospect Gael Kakuta from French club Lens.

Published 15 Nov 2018
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