Chelsea could be given two-year transfer ban

Bertrand Traore Chelsea

Officers from FIFA's Integrity and Compliance unit have spent three years delving into the Traore case and 13 other transfers involving the London club and players aged under 18.

Five Premier League clubs are facing the threat of being hit with a transfer ban as part of Fifa's investigation into the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

On Wednesday French outlet Mediapart, who are one of the organisations publishing documents obtained by Football Leaks, reported Chelsea are facing a four-window ban for illegally signing 14 players aged 18 and under.

The report does not specify whether or not the transfer ban would be just on acedemy players or senior players as well. "It will touch most of the big clubs around Europe and in the Premier League".

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In a statement provided to Goal, FIFA have denied reaching a decision on the matter, saying that the matter was still ongoing.

Traore - who now plays for Ligue 1 side Lyon after leaving Chelsea in a £8.8m deal - also agreed a four-and-a-half year deal with the Blues despite players under 18 only being allowed to sign for three years. Thus, the clubs are to be presumed innocent unless decided otherwise.

"The club has fully cooperated with Fifa and has provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable Fifa regulations", Chelsea told the Press Association. No further information can be provided as the cases are ongoing.

FIFA confirmed they were investigating Chelsea back in September 2017, though a club spokesman insisted the club "complies with all FIFA Statutes and Regulations when recruiting players". He was signed on professional terms by the Premier League club on 1 January 2014, the first day of the window immediately after his 18th birthday, despite being pictured playing in an under-18s game against Arsenal when he was only 16. We will not comment further'.

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