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Chelsea transfer ban for Gael Kakuta signing suspended by Court of Arbitration for Sport
Published : 06 Nov 2009 12:02:01Rss feed
Fifa banned the FA Cup-holders from any transfer activity for the next two transfer windows in September after they were found guilty of inducing Kakuta, a French teenager, to breach his contract with Lens. Chelsea, who are currently top of the Premier League, deny any wrongdoing and appealed to CAS against the punishment. As part of their appeal, they requested the transfer ban be 'stayed' until the case had been dealt with. Related ArticlesChelsea v Manchester United: match previewAncelotti: United fixture just another gameGourlay's Chelsea pledgeDeco: Didier Drogba better than Wayne RooneyDebate: Drogba v RooneyChelsea sell stadium naming rightsIf, as expected, the case is not heard until the New Year, it means that Chelsea will be able to recruit players in January. Amid the possibility the ban could still be upheld at a later date, Chelsea can be expected to be active in January so as to cover the potential impact of any sanction on subsequent transfer windows. With Chelsea's squad also likely to be depleted in January by the involvement of Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Salomon Kalou and John Obi-Mikel in the African Cup of Nations in January, today's announcement represents a huge boost to manager Carlo Ancelotti. "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has granted the request for a stay filed by Chelsea Football Club Ltd and Mr Gael Kakuta in relation to the decision taken by the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber on 27 August 2009,' said a statement from CAS. "The Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber imposed, inter alia, a restriction of four months' ineligibility on Mr Gael Kakuta, and Chelsea Football Club Ltd was banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the next two complete, consecutive registration periods. Such sanctions are now stayed until the CAS renders its final decision in this matter." Assistant manager Ray Wilkins has already indicated the club's intention to strengthen in January. 'We are naturally concerned about the quality of the players we will be losing to the African Nations Cup in January,' he said. "Any team in the country would miss four players of the calibre of Drogba, Essien, Kalou and Mikel. It would be very pleasant to be allowed to bring people in during January - and there are certainly a few names out there that Carlo would like to sign. 'We knew the African Nations Cup was coming and I'm sure Mr Abramovich has looked and thought 'We need a few more'. We're the same as any other team. We are always looking to strengthen our squad. If we are able to sign players in the New Year, all well and good.' It is alleged by Lens - and upheld by Fifa although fiercely disputed by Chelsea - that Kakuta was illegally recruited while still 15. Lens claimed the player signed a contract with Chelsea two months before his 16th birthday in 2007 even though he was still contracted to them. Lens had demanded €5 million (£4.37 million) for Kakuta - a fee Chelsea refused to pay insisting the player was free to leave and had no existing agreement.