The FIFA Appeals Committee’s verdict on Chelsea’s appeal of the FIFA-imposed transfer ban is expected either “next week” or “later this month” (as per Sky Sports) or in the following “weeks” (as per the tabloids). The hearing, which was set to take place all day Thursday, began at 9am CEST / 8am BST this morning.
While no one expects the Appeals Committee to overturn or even delay any of the original sanction’s provisions — no new registrations allowed for two consecutive transfer windows and a fine of £460,000 for violating FIFA rules for under-18 international transfers — the relatively speedy verdict should allow Chelsea to turn around and make a second, final appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Unlike FIFA, CAS are expected to suspend the ban while the appeals process in ongoing.
Whether FIFA’s verdict is handed down next week, or the week after, or even next month, as long as it is before July 1st, the start of the international transfer window, Chelsea should have time to launch the appeal with CAS, which should allow the club to conduct business as normal this summer. While that may be against the “spirit” of the ban (as FIFA might argue), it’s a provision that was allowed in previous cases involving Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid.