FIFA confirms Chelsea appeal against transfer ban

FIFA has confirmed on Tuesday that English Premier League club Chelsea have appealed against a transfer ban imposed after they were found guilty of breaching rules on overseas players under the age of 18.

Last month the London club were issued with a two-window registration ban and fined 600,000 Swiss francs (about 460,000 pounds) by FIFA's disciplinary committee over the recruitment of 29 foreign players aged under 18.

Chelsea immediately said they "categorically refute the findings" but having now appealed, they must await a decision from FIFA's appeal committee about whether there will be an easing of restrictions ahead of a hearing being convened.

FIFA said in a statement that it could not give a schedule for the process, nor say whether the ban would be lifted pending the appeal hearing.

“Any decision on the sanction remaining in place during the appeal process is to be taken by the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee,” it said.

The ability to recruit new players this summer is pivotal for Chelsea with doubts over Eden Hazard's future at the club with little progress made on extending the Belgian's contract beyond 2020, while strike Gonzalo Higuain is only on loan from Juventus until the end of the season.

FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. /VCG Photo 

FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. /VCG Photo 

Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have all been sanctioned for similar offences, but all three managed to delay the ban pending appeal to allow them extra time to prepare.

Barcelona and Atletico unsuccessfully contested their two-window ban, while Real Madrid's penalty was reduced on appeal to one January window which had little impact.

(With input from AFP and Reuters)