FIFA have refused Chelsea’s request to have their transfer ban frozen, with the club left “astonished” as they continue to appeal against the punishment.
The Blues have been banned by FIFA from signing players in the next two transfer windows, and were also fined £455,000, after being found guilty of breaching rules on overseas players under the age of 18.
The Premier League side confirmed last month that they would appeal against the decision taken by FIFA’s disciplinary committee.
But football’s world governing body says their appeals committee has rejected the request to have the ban frozen during the appeal process.
Chelsea hit back following the decision on Friday, saying they were “astonished” and suggested they have been treated differently to other European clubs who have faced a similar saction.
The statement said: “Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the FIFA Appeal Committee’s decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process.
“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. In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs. “
This latest setback could see the club now ask the Court of Arbitration for an interim ruling, which would allowed them to sign players this summer.
The club added: “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 cooperate with the proceedings.”
The catalyst for the transfer ban, as previously reported by Mirror Sport, was Chelsea’s signing of Bertrand Traore, now at Lyon.
FIFA’s rules state a non-EU player cannot move until they are 18 and cannot transport players across borders.
Exceptions within the European Union and European Economic Community allows the transfer of 16- to 18-year-old players if standards on education and living conditions are met.
Traore first came to light in October 2011 when, as a 16-year-old, he was pictured playing for Chelsea’s under-18s in a trial match against Arsenal.
Traore spent two years in Wimbledon living with his mother and brother while attending the £20,000-a-year Whitgift private school, while Jose Mourinho even took Traore on pre-season tour to the Far East in 2014.
During that trip club officials asked the visiting media not to report on him.
In similar cases, FIFA has agreed not to enforce the ban during a club’s appeal process, a policy which has previously allowed both Barcelona and Real Madrid to sign players ahead of their bans taking effect.
However, FIFA previously cautioned Chelsea against expecting similar treatment, stating “as a general rule we do not make comparisons with previous cases.”