Kids must benefit from Chelsea's transfer ban — MARTIN KEOWN

Sunday, 24 Feb, 2019

Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, who has transformed the London club with his wealth since his 2003 takeover, is now unable to travel to Britain because of visa issues.

Global transfers involving players under 18 are prohibited unless their families had already moved to the new country for non-football reasons or they are close to the border of another nation.

As things stand, Chelsea are set to appeal FIFA's decision, but it remains to be seen if the appeal bears any fruit. According to leaked documents by French website Mediapart, Chelsea offered the Burkina Faso worldwide a four-and-a-half year deal in 2013 despite minors only being allowed to have a contract of three years maximum.

Chelsea issued a statement "categorically refuting" the findings of FIFA's Disciplinary Committee.

The ruling states that worldwide transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18.

The ban is a punishment for the West London club 'in relation to the worldwide transfer and registration of players under the age of 18'. Federation Internationale de Football Association said that the club had been found guilty of 29 breaches of Article 19 - the most serious infringements relating to the registration of minors.

There could be serious repercussions for Chelsea ahead of the next season due to the transfer ban.

The FA responded on Twitter, saying: "The FA notes the decision of the Federation Internationale de Football Association disciplinary committee published today".

Additionally, the club was fined CHF 600,000 and given a period of 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned.

There is also the possibility of the matter ending up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

It is understood that Zidane would not be put off by a two-window transfer suspension that the Blues have picked up for the recruitment of young players.

Atletico Madrid, also banned for a year in 2016, saw their appeal fail, however, and were unable to add players in January or the close season of 2017. The German club didn't have to pay a fee.

However, any players who have already agreed to sign for the club (ie Christian Pulisic) can still join and players can still be sold. While that does not directly affect the possibility of the sale of Hazard to Madrid, the fact that the Chelsea will not be able to sign a suitable replacement could make the club more reluctant to let go of their Belgian talisman.