Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Chelsea can shop in summer as ban is lifted

Chelsea's transfer embargo was lifted yesterday after they were cleared of any wrongdoing over the transfer of Gael Kakuta.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport found in Chelsea's favour after FIFA had banned them from signing any new players until 2011 as punishment for allegedly inducing Kakuta to break his contract with Lens.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: “We are pleased to have come to an amicable resolution of the matter and that it has been ratified by CAS and recognised by FIFA.”

The embargo was suspended by CAS in November, enabling Chelsea to conduct business in the January transfer window.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti opted against bringing in reinforcements but the Italian can now strengthen during the summer.

Buck added: “It was always our intention to work together with Lens to reach this end. Both clubs have strengthened their relationship as a result of resolving this case to everyone's satisfaction.

“In an act of good faith and with a view to the possibility of future collaboration with Lens, and without recognising any liability, Chelsea has agreed to pay compensation costs for the training given to the player while at Lens, as mandated by FIFA in its original ruling.”

A CAS statement read: “The CAS has noted that, in the agreement, the two clubs and the player have recognised that the contract between the player and Lens was not valid.

“Accordingly, the player could not have terminated it prematurely and without just cause and Chelsea cannot therefore be liable for inducing a breach of contract. As a consequence, in light of these new circumstances, the sanctions imposed upon Chelsea and the player by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber had to be lifted. In accordance with the parties' request, the entire proceedings, including the arbitral award and the agreement shall remain confidential.”