SIGNING MINORS: FIFA is the world governing body of soccer football.
This one makes it the 3rd time since 2009 that Chelsea got investigated by FIFA.
In fact, Chelsea F.C. got banned from making signings for 2 years following the 2009 investigation.
They are not alone. The Premier League fined Manchester City £300,000 in May 2017. Man City also got banned against signing academy players. The ban stops them from recruiting any U10s to U18s registered with Premier League and EFL clubs.
The football governing body has strict rules set in place on signing minors. The aim is to stop the exploitation of youths (under the age of 18) and rule out human trafficking.
Under the FIFA investigation Chelsea will need to answer a potential breach of young player regulations.
FIFA had little to say about the Chelsea investigation for signing youth players. But, they did confirm in an email that an investigation was ‘ongoing‘. At the moment, they were unable to provide any details on the matters under investigation.
The club at City said they had no knowledge of an investigation. They were adamant they did nothing wrong. Whereas, Chelsea responded by saying that they comply to all FIFA statutes.
Chelsea Banned from Signing Players
The 2009 incident resulted in a Chelsea ban. They got found guilty of inducing Gael Kakuta to break his contract with Lens. That said, the sanction got lifted later after an appeal.
Further scrutiny occurred in 2014. That related to signing Bertrand Traore from Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso.
It appears Manchester City approached the family of 2 young players registered with other clubs.
They also await a verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It relates to their signing of 16-year-old midfielder in 2016. Benjamin Garre from Argentine club Velez Sarsfield is the topic of that one.
Manchester City were first cleared of Sarsfield’s initial allegation. The club claimed City were not allowed to sign the player due to his nationality. It appears that Garre has an Italian passport. The club decide to pursue the matter and the case got heard in July 2017.
The problem is not only confined to English football rules and regulations. January 2016 saw Real Madrid and Atletico banned from signing players for two transfer windows. They both got found guilty of breaching FIFA rules in relation to the signing of minors.
The sanction got halved on appeal for Real Madrid. But, Atletico’s ruling got upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA Rules on Under-18s Transfers
FIFA bans the international transfers of football players if they are under the age of 18 unless:
- The child’s parents have emigrated for reasons unconnected with football.
- Both the club and the player are ‘permanently‘ based within 50 kilometers of a national border.
- The transfer occurs within either the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) where the minimum age is 16.
Note: Clubs must still ensure the player continues educational studies for an alternative career. They should also ensure the young player gets a high living standard.
What should football fans make of these latest allegations over Premier League clubs signing young players?
Chelsea and Manchester City clubs both deny they did anything wrong. Even so, FIFA once more shine a light on the recruitment of minors into the game. The FIFA investigation at Chelsea and Manchester City is unlikely to the last!
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