Chelsea are facing a two-year transfer ban over the signing of players under the age of 18

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Football News

The work of Football Leaks in recent weeks has been pretty remarkable.

The whistleblower has uncovered a number of stories within the world of football, many of them rather concerning.

There’s the threat of a breakaway European Super League, featuring the biggest clubs from the continent.

Then there’s the allegations into Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, and how they’ve managed to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions.

Chelsea are one of the clubs who have apparently been involved in secret discussions to form a breakaway league.

But the Blues’ involvement in the Football Leaks findings doesn’t end there.

The west London club are facing the threat of a two-year transfer ban following a FIFA investigation into the signing of 14 players under the age of 18, per the Daily Mail.

Potential transfer ban

Officers from FIFA’s Integrity and Compliance unit have spent three years probing 14 transfers involving Chelsea and players under the age of 18.

French media outlet Mediapart have been publishing Football Leaks’ work. They claim that the unit have suggested a £45,000 fine and an embargo on all signings for a total of four transfer windows.

One window would relate to Bertrand Traore’s signing, the other three would be for the 13 other alleged offences.

Traore signed his first professional contract with Chelsea in September 2013, after he turned 18, and was registered in January 2014.

Chelsea v Stoke City - Premier League

But Mediapart claim FIFA have evidence to suggest the Blues misled them regarding the proper dates.

Traore played in an Under-18 matches against Arsenal as a 16-year-old. It is alleged that he played a total of 25 matches for Chelsea at Under-16 and Under-18 level without being registed by the FA.

Chelsea admitted that they paid Traore’s mother in 2011 to obtain a first-refusal option to sign him.

The Burkina Faso international’s deal was for four-and-a-half years, despite clubs being allowed to sign players under 18 for only three years.

Chelsea responded to the claim, via the Daily Mail: “The club has fully co-operated with FIFA and has provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with FIFA regulations. We will not comment further.”

Traore failed to make the grade at Chelsea and, after loan spells in the Netherlands at Vitesse and Ajax, signed a permanent deal with Lyon in 2017.

Bertrand Traore
Premier League

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