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FIFA investigate Chelsea over youth recruitment

Paris, France | AFP | Premier League champions Chelsea are the subject of a FIFA investigation, reportedly for possible breaches over the signing of foreign youth players, world football’s governing said on Wednesday.

“We can confirm that an investigation is ongoing,” a FIFA spokesperson told AFP. “However please note that we cannot provide any details concerning the matters under investigation.”

According to The Times newspaper, FIFA were looking into “possible breaches of the regulations regarding the signing of young foreign players”, while Chelsea replied: “Chelsea FC complies with all FIFA statutes and regulations.”

The alleged offences were reported to be “less serious” than the violations committed by Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid that prompted FIFA last year to issue the Spanish clubs with transfer bans.

Chelsea were initially hit with a transfer embargo in 2009 following the transfer of Gael Kakuta from French club Lens, but the ruling was overturned following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

They were also under investigation last year over the signing of Burkina Faso forward Bertrand Traore after images emerged of him playing for Chelsea when he was just 16 and before he received international clearance.

Real and Atletico were barred from registering new players for two transfer windows in January 2016 for irregularities in the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

Real’s sanction was halved on appeal by CAS, allowing the European champions to recruit players this past summer, but Atletico are unable to sign anyone until January 2018.

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