Chelsea granted transfer ban reprieve

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The Independent Football

Chelsea look set to be able to trade in the January transfer window after the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed to suspend their FIFA-imposed transfer ban until a final decision is made in the case of the signing of Gael Kakuta.

FIFA banned the Blues from any transfer activity for the next two periods of transfer activity in early September after they were found guilty of inducing Kakuta to breach his contract with French club Lens.

Chelsea appealed to CAS against the punishment and, as part of their appeal, requested the transfer ban be 'stayed' until the case had been dealt with.

A statement from CAS today read: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has granted the request for a stay filed by Chelsea Football Club Ltd and Mr Gael Kakuta in relation to the decision taken by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber on 27 August 2009.

"The FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber imposed, inter alia, a restriction of four months' ineligibility on Mr Gael Kakuta, and Chelsea Football Club Ltd was banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the next two complete, consecutive registration periods. Such sanctions are now stayed until the CAS renders its final decision in this matter."

CAS are not expected to hear the case until the new year, which should leave Chelsea free to buy and sell as normal in January.

CAS confirmed on October 22 they had received an appeal from Chelsea asking for the ban to be stayed.

Immediately after the decision of FIFA's dispute resolution chamber was made public, the London club made clear their intent to appeal against the ban and compensation payments to Lens of almost one million euros, which they described as "disproportionate".

A statement from the club read: "Chelsea will mount the strongest appeal possible following the decision of FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber over Gael Kakuta.

"The sanctions are without precedent to this level and totally disproportionate to the alleged offence and the financial penalty imposed.

"We cannot comment further until we receive the full written rationale for this extraordinarily arbitrary decision."

Lens requested compensation for Kakuta after he signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2008 and FIFA's DRC agreed Chelsea had indeed been guilty of inducing the youngster to break his contract and announced their verdict in a short statement on September 3.

"The French club had lodged a claim with FIFA seeking compensation for breach of contract from the player and requesting also sporting sanctions to be imposed on the player and the English club for breach of contract and inducement to breach of contract respectively," said FIFA.

"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 breach.

"As a result the player was condemned to pay compensation in the amount of 780,000 euros, for which the club, Chelsea, is jointly and severally liable, and sporting sanctions were imposed on both the player and Chelsea.

"A restriction of four months on his eligibility to play in official matches is imposed on the player Gael Kakuta while the club Chelsea is 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, Chelsea, has to pay RC Lens training compensation in the amount of 130,000 euros."

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