Five Premier League clubs may face transfer bans

Five Premier League clubs are facing a transfer ban following a Fifa investigation into the signing of Under-18 players

Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri Photo: The Sport Review

Chelsea are yet again facing the prospect of a transfer ban after a FIFA investigation which looked into the signing of Under-18 foreign players.

Thursday’s revelation comes after an investigation which may also affect four other Premier League clubs. According to French website Mediapart, there are up to 19 Chelsea players being looked at as part of a wider FIFA investigation into wrongful signings in the Premier League in what looks to be a serious breach of FIFA’s regulations.

FIFA’s integrity and compliance unit have already recommended that Chelsea should be banned for the transfer market for two years and also receive a mammoth fine of £45,000.

The reports suggests that Chelsea misled the football governing authority back in 2014, by playing former striker and current Lyon striker, Bertrand Traore, 25 times at under-16, under-18 and first team levels, when he was not even registered by the Football Association. The deal that brought him to Chelsea was for over four years, despite the limit for under-18s being set at only three years.

As football clubs from around the world, and especially in Europe’s top leagues, become more competitive, it seems some are willing to go to great lengths to acquire the signatures of promising young players.

This comes at a cost and in the past two decades there have been notable transfer bans handed to top European clubs, with some betting in UK that this probably won’t be the last transfer bans handed in the coming years.

These included: Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, in 2016, both were banned after breaching rules over the transfer of foreign players under the age of 18. Barcelona, in 2014, were given a transfer ban after signing players under the age of 18.

Chelsea, in 2009, were banned following the signing of French winger Gaël Kakuta, who had breached his contract with with French Ligue 1 side, Lens. Italian giants, AS Roma, were banned in 2005, following the signing of French centre back Philippe Mexes, who joined the club while still contracted with French Ligue 1 side, Auxerre.

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