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FIFA rejects Chelsea's request to freeze two-window transfer ban

Chelsea have reacted angrily to FIFA's decision to deny a formal request to pause the transfer ban handed to the club last month.

Chelsea hoped they would have the opportunity to buy players this summer while they appealed the punishment, given to the club after FIFA adjudged they had breached its transfer regulations related to the signing of 29 players under the age of 18.

As things stand Chelsea will be forced to sit out this summer's transfer window, and next January's too, but the club can still ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to grant an interim ruling that would allow them to register new players until their appeal process is completed.

FIFA did not state why it had denied Chelsea's request. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were all granted provisional measures which ensured bans were not immediately enforced in similar cases.

"Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the FIFA Appeal Committee's decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process," the statement read. "The club acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and has already notified FIFA of its intention to appeal against the Disciplinary Committee's decision and sanction.

"As a matter of procedural fairness and equality of treatment, and Swiss law, the Club's right to an appeal process must be afforded, before any irremediable sanction takes effect.

"So far as the Club is aware, in all previous cases where a registration ban has been imposed by FIFA, a decision has also been made to suspend the sanction until the appeal process has been completed. In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs.

"We will consider our next steps once we have received the written reasons for this decision from FIFA. The Club notes the Appeal Committee's statement that it has the right to appeal to CAS. In the meantime the Club will continue to fully cooperate with the proceedings."

FIFA transfer regulations prohibit clubs from signing under-18 players from other countries unless their parents have emigrated for reasons not connected to football, or both the player and club are based within 50 kilometres of a national border.

In January, it emerged that FIFA's investigation into Chelsea's transfer dealings had widened to examine arrangements with more than 100 foreign players under the age of 18.

The club argued that many of the individual cases highlighted involved players on short-term trials who were not signed, and ultimately FIFA's judgement related to alleged breaches regarding 29 players.

FIFA opened its investigation into Chelsea's academy for potential transfer rule breaches in 2016, when pictures emerged of Bertrand Traore playing against Arsenal in a non-competitive match as a 16-year-old.

The club said they had approval from both the Football Association and Premier League to play Traore in trial games.

FIFA also found the Football Association in breach of its transfer regulations, fining it £390,000 and giving it "a period of six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football."

The FA have separately indicated their intention to appeal, but the governing body's alleged breach is likely to form part of Chelsea's appeal argument.

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