Chelsea have suffered a blow to their summer recruitment drive after FIFA’s Appeal Committee rejected their appeal against a two-window transfer ban.
The world governing body announced earlier this year that the west London club have been banned from signing players in the next two transfer windows for breaching rules in relation to youth players until the end of January 2020, with the exception of the women’s and futsal team.
Chelsea, who had initially expected their ban to be suspended during the summer while they appealed the ruling, are able to sign players under the age of 16 in the UK, with the ban coming into effect on May 16.
Eden Hazard has been strongly linked with a £100m move to Real Madrid, but the shock news that the ban will apply immediately – unlike in recent cases involving Real, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona – leaves the club with no scope to find a replacement.
The Blues are now expected to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The ban was announced in February following a FIFA investigation into the signing of foreign players aged under 18, including former striker Bertrand Traore.
Chelsea were fined £460,000 but the Premier League outfit have said they will appeal the decision. –eurosport