FIFA confirms Chelsea appeal against two-window transfer ban

FIFA confirmed on Tuesday that Chelsea have officially appealed against a transfer ban imposed after they were found guilty of breaching rules on overseas players under the age of 18.

Chelsea, who were banned from two consecutive transfer windows and also fined £460,000 ($599,000), had already said they would appeal against the decision taken by FIFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee last month.

FIFA said in a statement that it could not give a schedule for the process, nor say whether the ban would be lifted pending the appeal hearing.

"Any decision on the sanction remaining in place during the appeal process is to be taken by the chairman of the FIFA Appeal Committee," it said.

Chelsea are prepared to take their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if necessary, and expect the lengthy nature of the process will grant them the ability to trade as normal in this summer's transfer window before any punishment is applied.

In January, it emerged that FIFA's investigation into Chelsea's transfer dealings had widened to examine arrangements with more than 100 foreign players under the age of 18.

The club argued that many of the individual cases highlighted involved players on short-term trials who were not signed, and ultimately FIFA's judgement related to alleged breaches regarding only 29 players.

In a statement issued on their website last month, Chelsea said they "acted in accordance with the relevant regulations" and were "extremely disappointed" by FIFA's decision.

"Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA disciplinary committee and will therefore be appealing the decision," the statement said.

"The club wishes to emphasise that it respects the important work undertaken by FIFA in relation to the protection of minors and has fully cooperated with FIFA throughout its investigation. Chelsea FC acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to FIFA."

FIFA opened its investigation into Chelsea's academy for potential transfer rule breaches in 2016, when pictures emerged of Bertrand Traore playing against Arsenal in a non-competitive match as a 16-year-old.

The club said they had approval from both the Football Association and Premier League to play Traore in trial games.

FIFA also found the Football Association in breach of its transfer regulations, fining it £390,000 and giving it "a period of six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football."

The FA have separately indicated their intention to appeal, but the governing body's alleged breach is likely to form part of Chelsea's appeal argument.