FIFA have banned Chelsea from signing new players for the next two transfer periods (that is, the January 2010 and Summer 2010 transfer windows). This comes as part of a decision by FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) on a contractual dispute regarding Gael Kakuta between Lens and Chelsea.
The French club had lodged a claim with FIFA seeking compensation for breach of contract from the player and had requested that sporting sanctions to be imposed on both Kakuta and Chelsea for breach of contract and inducement to breach of contract respectively.
The DRC ruled that Kakuta had indeed breached his contract with Lens and that Chelsea had ‘induced the player’ to such a breach.
As a result, Kakuta has been fined €780,000 (for which Chelsea are jointly liable) and both Kakuta and Chelsea have had sanctions placed on them.
While Chelsea are now banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, Kakuta is restricted from playing any official matches for the next four months. Furthermore, the club, Chelsea, have to pay Lens training compensation to the tune of €130,000.
A servere punishment but without knowing the full facts you can’t say for sure whether Chelsea were truly in the wrong or not. One thing is for certain – FIFA not only are keen on reducing the power and influence football clubs have but are also looking to police football transfers.
There will be many claims about other cases where clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid should also be ‘tried’ under the same rules, but at the end of the day we’re still waiting to see what evidence comes out of this decision and whether Chelsea really did screw this up or whether they were screwed over by FIFA.
But no new player registrations? Does that mean they can’t sign any free agents? Hopefully this doesn’t mean that they can’t draft new players (domestically) into their academy, or that it restricts them from offering contracts to players in their youth academy. Probably not.
But it’s still a severe ban, and you’d expect Chelsea to appeal this vociferously if possible.