PARIS, September 3 – English Premier League club Chelsea have been fined and hit with a ban on registering players until January 2011 by world football's ruling body FIFA as punishment for their role in a contractual dispute.
The sanction follows a decision by FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), which met on August 27 to rule on a contractual dispute opposing French first division club Lens to French player Gael Kakuta and London giants Chelsea.
The DRC found Kakuta guilty of breach of contract and also found Chelsea guilty of inducing the player to break his contract with the French club, which had lodged a claim with FIFA seeking compensation and demanding sporting sanctions both on the player and Chelsea.
A statement from FIFA said the DRC "found that the player had indeed breached a contract signed with the French club".
"Equally, the DRC deemed it to be established that the English club induced the player to such a breach."
As well as paying 780,000 euros in compensation to Lens, for which Chelsea are jointly liable, Kakuta has been sanctioned in accordance with article 17, paragraph 3 and 4 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
He has been effectively banned from playing in official matches for four months.
The statement added: "Chelsea are banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision.
"Furthermore, the club, Chelsea, have to pay Lens training compensation in the amount of 130,000 euros."