According to several reports, Chelsea face a FIFA investigation over the recruitment of youngster Bertrand Traore for breaching certain regulations. FIFA regulations state players bought under the age of 18 cannot take part in professional matches.
Bertrand Traore has, apparently, played for the under 18s in 2011 against Arsenal after pictures of him appeared playing a match against the Arsenal U18s in 2011. The offical match report on Arsenal’s website also states Traore hitting the crossbar on Arsenal’s website.
Chelsea had named the Burkina Faso international in their official team sheet in that match four years ago when he was 16. They eventually signed the youngster when he was 18. If found guilty, Chelsea face a transfer embargo – one they would definitely suffer from. The ban would mean they would be prevented from all transfer activity worldwide.
Chelsea insist they haven’t broken any rules and were allowed to play Traore who is now part of the first team setup aged 20. The Blues had issued a statement on their website on Tuesday morning stating:
“Bertrand Traore was registered by Chelsea FC in January 2014 in compliance with FA and Premier League Rules. Prior to that date, he was party to an option agreement which enabled the club to acquire his registration in January 2014. The option agreement was registered with, and approved by, both The FA and the Premier League.”
Chelsea faced an investigation over an underage transfer before
This is not the first time Chelsea have faced a transfer investigation. They had previously been imposed a ban for two windows in 2009 over the signing of Gael Kakuta in 2007 but had it revoked after a successful appeal at the court of Arbitration for Sport.
Both the Premier League and FA have cleared his signing and have stated all rules were followed but FIFA want to investigate further. A FIFA spokesperson informed Press Association Sport: "We are not in a position to comment on any investigations that are ongoing so as not to compromise the process, nor do we provide any comments as to whether or not any investigations are under way.”
Previous high profile breaches include Barcelona’s two window transfer ban in 2014 which was recently uplifted was similar to Chelsea’s potential predicament. The recent bans for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all fall under the same category of signing underage players.