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CAS reduces Chelsea FC’s FIFA transfer sanction into half!

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Chelsea Football Club Ltd (CFC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

The FIFA Appeal Committee decision dated April 11, 2019, in which Chelsea FC was declared liable for violations of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) and banned from registering new players, nationally and internationally, for two (2) entire and consecutive registration periods, fined CHF 600,000, reprimanded and warned on its future conduct, has been modified. The following sanctions have now been imposed by the CAS:

– Chelsea FC is banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for one (1) entire registration period, which the club already served during the 2019 summer registration period;

– CFC is ordered to pay a fine to FIFA of the amount of CHF 300,000 (three hundred thousand Swiss Francs).

– The warning and the reprimand are confirmed.

A CAS arbitration procedure was initiated in June 2019, following the receipt of Chelsea FC’s appeal, and conducted by a Sole Arbitrator (Prof. Massimo Coccia (Italy)). The club did not file any application for provisional measures but requested that a final decision be rendered before the end of 2019. A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on November 20, 2019.

The Sole Arbitrator found that Chelsea FC did violate Articles 19.1 (related to the international transfer of minors) and 19.3 (related to the first registration of minors) of the RSTP, but for a significantly smaller number of players (about 1/3 of the violations found by FIFA). In addition, the violations of other RSTP rules were found to be less serious than those attributed to Chelsea FC by FIFA. Accordingly, the Sole Arbitrator reduced the sanction to one single transfer ban (which Chelsea FC already served during the 2019 summer registration period), and halved the monetary sanction.

In view of the upcoming transfer window, the Sole Arbitrator issued his decision without the grounds. The reasoned award is being prepared and is expected to be notified to the parties in early 2020.

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