Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri may not be able to make any signings in the next two transfer windows if the club’s appeal fails. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

LONDON – Chelsea have slammed Fifa’s decision not to suspend a two-window transfer ban pending the outcome of an appeal, claiming they are “astonished” by a move that would ruin the club’s plans to revamp their struggling squad.

The Blues were banned from signing players for the next two transfer windows after being found guilty last month of breaching regulations relating to the recruitment of minors.

Chelsea denied any wrongdoing, and subsequently lodged an appeal with the governing body.

However, Fifa’s appeal committee has announced that an application by the club for “provisional measures” has been rejected.

The announcement left Chelsea fuming, and the Premier League club were quick to hit back.

“Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the Fifa Appeal Committee’s decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process,” a Chelsea statement said on Friday.

“The club acted in accordance with the relevant regulations, and has already notified Fifa of its intention to appeal against the Disciplinary Committee’s decision and sanction.

“As a matter of procedural fairness and equality of treatment, and Swiss law, the Club’s right to an appeal process must be afforded, before any irremediable sanction takes effect.

“So far as the Club is aware, in all previous cases where a registration ban has been imposed by Fifa, a decision has also been made to suspend the sanction until the appeal process has been completed.”

Fifa’s decision means the original restrictions stand, and Chelsea will be unable to recruit new players this summer or in the January 2020 transfer window.

In similar cases, Spanish clubs Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were each granted provisional measures, which ensured bans were not immediately enforced.

Chelsea feel their treatment is inconsistent, and will consider their next steps once written reasons for the decision are received from Fifa.

This could include an appeal against this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs,” the statement said.

“We will consider our next steps once we have received the written reasons for this decision from Fifa. 

“The Club notes the Appeal Committee’s statement that it has the right to appeal to CAS. In the meantime, the Club will continue to fully co-operate with the proceedings.”

AFP