Chelsea set to look for new signings in January after transfer ban cut
LAUSANNE, DEC 7: Chelsea manager Frank Lampard admitted the club will be on the lookout for new faces in the January window after a FIFA-imposed transfer ban was reduced on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.
The ban, imposed following violations in the recruitment of minors, was reduced from two transfer windows to one, which Chelsea already served in the summer.
A fine was also reduced from 600,000 Swiss francs ($607,000; £462,000) to half that amount by the Lausanne-based court.
Lampard insisted he had not yet had any conversations with Chelsea's board about transfer plans, but will start them now in earnest.
"It's a positive outcome for us. It allows us the potential to look at the market going forward," Lampard said at a press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Everton.
"So I'm pleased from a footballing level. It was never my business to get involved in the reasons why or the legal side of it. "So from my point of view, for the club moving forward, it's obviously a good thing."
A CAS statement explaining their decision said that Chelsea were guilty of violating rules related to the international transfer and registration of minors, "but for a significantly smaller number of players", concluding that they were only guilty of one third of the violations found by FIFA.
In addition, the breaches of other transfer rules "were found to be less serious than those attributed to Chelsea FC by FIFA".
Chelsea later welcomed the news before describing FIFA's approach as "deeply unsatisfactory, not least as FIFA chose to treat Chelsea entirely differently to Manchester City for reasons that make absolutely no sense to Chelsea".
A 451-word statement issued on Twitter detailed how, according to the club, FIFA had got it badly wrong bringing the charges.
The club said it "respects the importance of the work undertaken by FIFA" concerning the protection of minors.
But it warned that if FIFA continued to impose "inconsistent and unequal sanctions" on clubs it would cast doubt on the confidence in the body's ability to "appropriately regulate this important area".
The initial ban was announced by football's world governing body in February, but Chelsea had always denied wrongdoing.
It followed a FIFA probe into Chelsea's signing of foreign under-18 players, including the club's former forward Bertrand Traore, a Burkina Faso international who now plays for French Ligue 1 club Lyon.
Traore signed professional forms for Chelsea in 2013 at the age of 18 but was not registered until January the following year. At first they appealed to FIFA who partially lifted the ban in April, although only for players under 16 who are not "international transfers and first registrations of foreign minor players". -AFP