Chelsea get trans­fer go-ahead

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

CHELSEA were cleared to sign new play­ers in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow yes­ter­day af­ter the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS) sus­pended a ban im­posed by Fifa.

The English Premier League leaders had asked the Lau­san­nebased court for a stay un­til the re­sult of an ap­peal was de­cided.

The CAS said in a state­ment that it had granted the re­quest, with the sanc­tions sus­pended “un­til the CAS ren­ders its fi­nal de­ci­sion in this mat­ter”.

No date was given for the de­ci­sion but one le­gal ex­pert doubted a fi­nal ver­dict would be reached be­fore March.

Chelsea were banned from reg­is­ter­ing any new play­ers un­til Jan­uary 2011 af­ter be­ing found guilty in Septem­ber of in­duc­ing Gael Kakuta to break his con­tract with French club Racing Lens.

Kakuta was also banned from play­ing of­fi­cial matches for Chelsea for four months while the Lon­don club were or­dered to pay com­pen­sa­tion to Lens.

The pu­n­ish­ment was handed out fol­low­ing a con­trac­tual dis­pute in­volv­ing the trans­fer of re­serve team player Kakuta, now 18, from Lens in 2007.

Mid­fielder Kakuta had been at Lens since he was eight, go­ing through their school­ing sys­tem.

A France un­der-19 in­ter­na­tional, he made only five Chelsea youth team ap­pear­ances last sea­son and two for the re­serves.

The English club, who have slammed the Fifa ban as “ex­traor­di­nar­ily ar­bi­trary” and “to­tally dis­pro­por­tion­ate”, noted the CAS action on their web­site without fur­ther com­ment.

Man­ager Carlo Ancelotti bat­ted off re­porters’ ques­tions, say­ing Chelsea were con­cen­trat­ing on the game against Manch­ester United and that the CAS sit­u­a­tion would take care of it­self.

Pro­fes­sor Ian Black­shaw, a lawyer who has worked for the CAS, said it could be some time be­fore the mat­ter was re­solved.

“This means that Chelsea are free, if they wish to do so, to deal in the trans­fer mar­ket in Jan­uary,” he said. “The key ques­tion now is when will CAS hear the ap­peal and fi­nally de­cide?

“Un­der pro­ce­dural rules, an ap­peal must be de­cided within four months of the plead­ings hav­ing been set­tled – the state­ment of ap­peal, the an­swer, any sub­mis­sion made in the case by the Fifa dis­pute res­o­lu­tion cham­ber.

“I don’t think we will get an ap­peal much be­fore March or even April.”

Should Chelsea make sign­ings in Jan­uary, there could be com­pli­ca­tions if the ban is sub­se­quently up­held. – Reuters

the foot­ball sup­ple­ment in­side to­day

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