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FIFA fast-track transfer ban appeal as Chelsea put all transfer activity on hold

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Chelsea still hopeful of conducting business this summer

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Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Chelsea remain hopeful of still being able to conduct business as usual this summer as the club’s appeal has been fast tracked by the FIFA Appeals Committee.

Just 36 days after filing the appeal of the two-window transfer by FIFA, the Committee will hear the case on April 11. As our friend Jake Cohen points out, this is at least twice as fast as in previous cases, wherein the hearing was not held until well over two months from the filing date, if not longer.

While Chelsea do not expect the Appeals Committee to reverse any of FIFA’s decisions, if they render their full (written) decision before the transfer window opens, Chelsea will have a chance to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The expectation is that CAS would then suspend the ban for this summer, even if they might be also unlikely to reduce the actual punishment in the end.

Chelsea have been clearly counting on being able to do business this summer, with or without an impending transfer ban, until FIFA took the unprecedented step to not suspend the sentence while the appeal was ongoing. There was some hope that FIFA’s change in approach would extend to a speedy appeal as well, and so far that’s looking like the case.

With the hearing set for two weeks from now and the transfer window set to open in a little over two months, Chelsea have basically put all transfer activity on hold — including both incoming potential signings (although beyond Luka Jović, not much has even been rumored) and any potential exits, such as Andreas Christensen, who’s been telling Danish media that Chelsea have told everyone to sit tight and wait for further instructions. (Which is not quite the same as receiving reassurances that his situation will actually improve next season.)

“The situation I have ended up in has been very difficult to accept. The messages we have received are that Chelsea cannot appeal the case and therefore want to keep all the players.”

-Andreas Christensen; source: Ekstra Blader via Telegraph

And so we (continue to) wait.