Chelsea allegedly face the threat of a two-year transfer ban following a Fifa investigation into their signing of foreign under-18 players, including former striker Bertrand Traore.
According to French website Mediapart, claims 19 Chelsea signings have been looked at in a three year-long investigation, 14 of those signings were under the age of 18. It was first reported in September 2017 that Chelsea were being investigated. "The proceedings are ongoing and, to date, no decision has been passed by the Fifa judicial bodies," football's world governing body Fifa said in a statement.
Chelsea said it had "fully co-operated with Fifa". The club also said it had "provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable Fifa regulations". Fifa's integrity and compliance unit has recommended Chelsea are handed a transfer ban covering four transfer windows, as well as a fine of £45,000.
Burkino Faso international Traore, who now plays for Ligue 1 club Lyon, signed his first professional contract at Chelsea in 2013 at the age of 18 but was not registered until January. Fifa found evidence that Chelsea had misled them over the dates, while Traore was found to have made 25 appearances for the Blues (under-16, under-18 and first team) despite not being registered by the Football Association.
Chelsea have also admitted they paid his mother £155,000, as well as a further £13,000 to the club she chaired, AJE Bobo-Dioulasso, in April 2011 to allow them first refusal over his signature. That deal was for four-and-a-half years, despite the limit for under-18s being only three years.
Chelsea also paid for Traore to attend the £20,000-a-year Whitgift School in Surrey. Should they be handed a transfer ban, Chelsea will be the latest club to receive such punishment after similar incidences in La Liga.