Chelsea to appeal stunning Fifa transfer ban

Chelsea have vowed to “mount the strongest appeal possible” against Fifa’s decision to ban them from signing players in the next two transfer windows. World football’s ruling body punished the Premier League club after they were found guilty of inducing Gael Kakuta, a France youth international, to breach his contract with Lens in 2007. The decision means that Chelsea will not be able to add to their squad until January 2011.

A club statement read: “Chelsea will mount the strongest appeal possible following the decision of Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chamber over Gael Kakuta. The sanctions are without precedent to this level and totally disproportionate to the alleged offence and the financial penalty imposed.”

Fifa has ordered the English club to pay Lens compensation of €130,000 (about £113,500) and fined the player €780,000 (about £682,000), a payment for which world football’s ruling body said that Chelsea were “jointly and severally liable”. Fifa also banned Kakuta, 18, a skilful left-winger who had been named in Chelsea’s Champions League squad, from taking part in official matches for four months. Top scorer for the youth side and academy player of the year in his first season at Chelsea, Kakuta has just returned from a double fracture to his ankle that he suffered in February.

Gervais Martel, the Lens president, expressed his support for the punishment. “We expected this kind of decision,” he said. “The player was under contract with us, and they came and stole him away from us. “Chelsea didn’t follow the rules. They contacted the player when he wasn’t even 16 and while he had been contracted to our training group from the age of eight.” Martel added: “The financial sanction isn’t over the top given the nature of the infringement, but it’s really quite significant when it comes to not being able to recruit players. It’s an important message given that protecting up-and-coming youth players who are contracted to clubs is an issue being followed closely by Michel Platini [the Uefa president].”

Chelsea are not the first club to suffer in this way. In 2005 Roma were banned from the transfer market for two windows over their signing of Philippe Mexes from Auxerre. The club appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who ordered that Roma should be banned only from the January 2006 window. Sion, of Switzerland, received a similar Fifa ban in April for two transfer windows after being accused of enticing Essam El Hadary from Al-Ahly. Sion appealed to CAS, which has frozen the sanction while it deliberates, allowing the club to trade until next summer. A verdict is likely later this year.

Fifa’s regulations on the status and transfer of players state in Article 17, paragraph 4: “It shall be presumed, unless established to the contrary, that any club signing a professional who has terminated his contract without just cause has induced that professional to commit a breach. The club shall be banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for two registration periods.”

Fifa said in a statement: “The French club had lodged a claim with Fifa seeking compensation for breach of contract from the player and requesting also sporting sanctions to be imposed on the player and the English club for breach of contract and inducement to breach of contract. The DRC found that the player had indeed breached a contract. Equally, the DRC deemed that the English club induced the player to such breach.”

two transfer windows? chelsea’s gonna feel it this time.. some fans can’t accept this ban and saying this as an anti-english scam. sometimes they need to just accept that they did the mistake and pay the price for that. hope fifa stays firm with their current decision and not to give way to chelsea’s appeal. article from TimesOnline.

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