London, Nov 15: Five Premier League clubs could be hit with a transfer ban as part of FIFA's investigation into the illegal signing of foreign players under the age of 18 and Chelsea could be one of them.
FIFA reportedly have been investigating Chelsea’s recruitment of underage minors since it was revealed that Burkina Faso striker Bertrand Traore was signed before his 18th birthday back in 2014.
As per FIFA rules, any players who are under the age of 18 are prohibited from any international transfer unless their parents have emigrated for reasons not connected to football or both the player and club are based within 50km of a national border. However, there is an exception in this rule.
The alternative rule suggests, if eventually, any transfers within either the European Union or European Economic Area happens, where the minimum age is 16 the club must secure the player with his education and studies for an alternative career, as well as making sure he has a high living standard.
But as per Frech media outlet, Mediaset, Chelsea did not follow any of the norms and Traore without being registered by the FA played for Chelsea in the youth level.
The youngster who only left the Blues last year for Lyon apparently played 25 matches for Chelsea at under-16 and under-18 level before signing a professional contract in September 2013 after his 18th birthday.
Chelsea could risk transfer ban by FIFA for the illegal registration of young players, according to latest information released by Football Leaks. Fifa is investigating 19 registrations which includes Bertrand Traoré transfer from Burkina Faso.— Sarrismo™ (@Blue_Footy) November 14, 2018
He was registered in the January 2014 transfer window. However, as per reports, FIFA have found evidence to suggest Chelsea misled them regarding the real dates and are facing two years transfer ban plus a fine of £45,000. One window relates to Traore and the other three windows to offences involving the 13 other alleged offences.
Chelsea, however, have since duly denied the allegations and making an official declaration suggested they have not broken any FIFA rules with regards to the signings of underage players.
"The club has fully cooperated with FIFA and has provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable FIFA regulations," Chelsea said in a statement.
"We will not comment further on speculation concerning confidential contracts or player-related matters."
Apart from Chelsea, four other Premier League however not been mentioned yet. But from 2013 to 2017 City (28), Manchester United (27) and Arsenal (19) were among the clubs that signed the most minors. Earlier FIFA confirmed in September 2017 that Manchester City’s conduct involving youth players was under review however they have not been charged yet.
Earlier in 2016, heavyweights Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid received transfer bans for breaching rules over the signing of minors and were fined £246,700 and £816,800 respectively while Barcelona were given a 14-month transfer ban for breaking rules on signing international players under 18 in 2014 fining them £305,000.