Lam­pard ex­pects ver­dict on Chelsea ap­peal over Fifa-im­posed trans­fer ban ‘very soon’

The National - News - - SPORT - The Na­tional

Frank Lam­pard ex­pects to find out “very soon” whether Chelsea will be free to make any sign­ings next month.

Chelsea ex­pect to learn in the com­ing days the ver­dict of their ap­peal against a trans­fer ban im­posed by world gov­ern­ing body Fifa.

The Premier League club’s ap­peal to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport was heard last month, with the Blues con­test­ing Fifa’s two-win­dow ban re­lat­ing to the sign­ing of over­seas youth play­ers.

“Very soon I be­lieve,” Lam­pard replied when asked if he ex­pects an an­nounce­ment to dis­cover the re­sult of that ap­peal. “Days, I think.”

Lam­pard did not re­veal if the club were pur­su­ing any tar­gets in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the ban be­ing lifted.

“I haven’t heard any more, so I would wait and re­serve judge­ment un­til we get the judge­ment and see where we want to go from there,” he said.

More press­ingly, the Chelsea man­ager said he would give top scorer Tammy Abra­ham “ev­ery pos­si­ble chance” to face As­ton Villa as the Eng­land striker re­cov­ers from a hip in­jury. Lam­pard ad­mit­ted the 22-yearold, who has scored 10 Premier League goals this sea­son, is still bat­tling pain from the prob­lem he picked up in the 2-2 Cham­pi­ons League draw at Va­len­cia.

“He’s still got some pain in the area of the in­jury, [we will] make a judge­ment to­mor­row,” Lam­pard said.

Southamp­ton man­ager Ralph Hasen­huttl said the sea­son “is a marathon, not a sprint” as spec­u­la­tion grows about the Aus­trian’s fu­ture with the club mired in rel­e­ga­tion trou­ble.

Saints face fel­low strug­glers Nor­wich City tonight one place and a soli­tary point above the pro­moted Ca­naries in 18th place. “It is a marathon, not a sprint and we know how to han­dle it,” Hasen­huttl said when asked if he was feel­ing any pres­sure to save his job.

Southamp­ton sacked for­mer man­ager Mark Hughes ex­actly a year ago with the club in the same po­si­tion they are in now. “I knew the job I’d take on wasn’t the eas­i­est one be­cause of our lim­i­ta­tions. We have a spe­cial way of de­vel­op­ing young play­ers ... That takes time,” he said.

A much-needed win for Hasen­huttl’s squad over bot­tom-club Wat­ford ended a poor run of eight games with­out a win to give them 12 points from 14 matches.

“The way we showed how com­mit­ted we are in the last few weeks is spe­cial and a sig­nal that it was ab­so­lutely right to come here.”

Reuters

Frank Lam­pard and Chelsea are await­ing a de­ci­sion af­ter Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport heard their ap­peal last month

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