Chelsea have been banned from signing any new players until 2011, after Fifa accused them of illegally inducing a French youth-team player to join the club in 2007.
Fifa’s dispute resolution chamber today released a statement fining Gaël Kakuta €780,000 following a complaint from FC Lens and finding Chelsea “jointly and severally liable”.
“A restriction of four months on his eligibility to play in official matches is imposed on the player Gaël Kakuta while the club FC Chelsea is banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision,” the DRC statement said. “Furthermore, the club, FC Chelsea, has to pay to RC Lens training compensation in the amount of €130,000.”
Chelsea has vowed to appeal, obviously, and will probably be fighting this one out for some time. If this were to stick, though, the impact would be devastating. Any player who leaves wouldn’t be replaced save through internal promotion, and it’s hard to imagine any team staying at the top of the Premier League when they can’t add talent from elsewhere for 2 full transfer periods.
While I endorse a suspension of Arsenal’s Eduardo, it’s only a fair punishment if UEFA now punishes all clear divers the same way. Precedent’s a mofo. And thus, while I endorse punishing a team for mucking about illegally with 15 year old prodigies, giving Chelsea a 2-window ban for something that probably happens a lot, hasn’t been punished this harshly in the past, and won’t be the easiest thing to prove against others in the future strikes me as too much.
How does it strike you?