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What the transfer ban means for Chelsea

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Feature
1.61K   //    07 Jun 2019, 15:46 IST

Chelsea v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Final
Chelsea v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Final

The Chelsea faithful look ahead to a transfer window that is certain to give them the blues. The club face a two-window transfer ban for breaching FIFA’s rules regarding the signing of international players under the age of 18.

Many football fans are confused about FIFA’s rules regarding the transfer of minors. Why should a rule as such be in place?

Over the years, FIFA have fought for the cause of human trafficking. In under-developed countries, exploitation and trafficking are major issues that haven’t been fully addressed. In order to protect minors, FIFA have a set of rules that must be followed by clubs while buying players. The rules are as follows,

#1 Both clubs are in the European Union or European Economic Area and the player is aged between 16 and 18. Even then, the buying club must meet more criteria relating to education, training, living conditions and support.

#2 The parents of the minor should move to the country where the football club is located

#3 The minor should reside within 100km of the club

Chelsea were fined £460,000 by FIFA for not adhering to some of the above causes. Even the FA were fined £390,000 by FIFA for failing to address the transfer situation in England. Though this is quite rare in England, clubs in Spain have been banned in the recent past. La Liga giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have faced bans for signing players under the age of 18, who did not meet FIFA’s transfer requirements. 

However, all three clubs had enough talent on-board to survive the season without any significant drop in their league standings. But the story isn’t the same for Chelsea. Their talisman Eden Hazard is close to joining Real Madrid, with an alleged transfer fee of around £88 million agreed between the clubs. He was the difference-maker in the Europa League final against Arsenal, and has been so for many games over his seven-year tenure at the club. His absence will leave a gaping hole in Chelsea’s attack which cannot be fixed this season. With the transfer ban, it looks like Chelsea are neck deep trouble.

Or are they?

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The departure of Hazard and the ban on incoming players may present a silver lining after all. One player who will certainly benefit is Callum Hudson-Odoi. The lack of incoming players will give him a great chance to cement his spot as a regular for the club. Chelsea can also call on the services of Christian Pulisic, who was signed in January before the transfer ban was imposed. The American international was loaned back to Dortmund immediately after signing for Chelsea.

Matteo Kovacic can also be signed on a permanent deal from Real Madrid if the Blues want to do so. However, the deal must be completed before the expiry of Kovacic’s loan contract with the club.

The brightest hope for Chelsea is the possible arrival of Massimiliano Allegri, who recently quit Juventus. The six-time Seria A winner is apparently heading to London for English classes. It will be a huge boost to Chelsea if he takes over from Maurizio Sarri. Although Sarri is a skilled manager, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and tension surrounding the former Napoli boss at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have also lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the transfer ban imposed by FIFA, and it remains to be seen what happens in that regard.

Even if the ban is upheld, all’s not lost at the club as they have enough talent to compete for a top four finish, which will give them a bargaining chip to sign world-class players next summer. For this season, Chelsea fans will have their fingers crossed in eager anticipation of the best.

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