Chelsea given date for appeal against transfer ban
Christensen says players have been told there will be no departures this summer
Andreas Christensen of Chelsea: ‘The situation I have ended up in has been very difficult to accept.’ Photograph: Ludvig Thunman/Bildbyrån/kod LT/File Photo
Chelsea’s appeal against their two-window transfer ban for signing underage players will be heard by a Fifa appeal committee on April 11th.
And Blues defender Andreas Christensen has revealed the club will attempt to keep hold of all their star players, such as Eden Hazard, this summer in response to the sanction.
Chelsea were hit with the ban, which runs until July 2020, last month and were also fined £460,000 (€536,000) for 29 breaches of Fifa’s rules on the international transfer of minors.
Cross-border transfers of players under 18 are banned unless there are specific, non-football reasons for the player moving to the relevant country, although players over 16 can move within the European Economic Area.
At one point Fifa was investigating more than 100 cases involving Chelsea, going back several years, but eventually charged the Blues with 92 breaches of article 19 – the rule prohibiting the registration of minors – and other charges related to the club having third-party influence over other clubs’ players.
Chelsea successfully defended themselves in 63 of these cases at a Fifa disciplinary committee but were found guilty of 29 illegal transfers.
The Stamford Bridge outfit were given 90 days to “regularise the situation of the minor players concerned” and the Football Association was also given a £390,000 fine for letting Chelsea register these players.
Strongly denying any wrongdoing, both Chelsea and the FA made their intentions to appeal clear at the outset, although only Chelsea are mentioned in Monday’s Fifa statement about next month’s hearing.
No other details were given in the short statement from a Fifa spokesperson.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have all been sanctioned for similar offences in the past and Manchester City are understood to be the next leading club in line for a sanction related to underage transfers.
Meanwhile, Christensen has revealed that Chelsea’s players have been told there will be no departures this summer.
Belgium attacker Hazard has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid but may now have to stay put even if he wants to leave.
Christensen, who has struggled for playing time under boss Maurizio Sarri this season, told Danish publication Ekstra Bladet: “The situation I have ended up in has been very difficult to accept.
“The messages we have received are that Chelsea cannot appeal [against] the case and therefore want to keep all the players.”