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CAS yet to receive any Chelsea appeal of transfer ban — reports

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Wait, what?

Chelsea FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

UPDATE:

Friend of the blog Jake Cohen has a reasonable explanation for this whole mess, which fits all the reports except the ones that had claimed Chelsea already submitted the appeal to CAS.

Basically, since FIFA’s full reasoning behind the rejection of the appeal has not yet been received, Chelsea have nothing to actually appeal against at this point in time. When that full reasoning might arrive is unclear.


PREVIOUSLY:

It’s promising to be a weird summer at Chelsea Football Club once again, so here’s another confusing situation made even more confusingly confusing...ier.

When Chelsea were hit by the two-window transfer ban from FIFA earlier this year, the course of action was clear. Appeal to FIFA, get the ban suspended for the summer, then deal with the consequences — just as all other big teams who had been similarly punished had done (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético). FIFA threw a wrench in those plans by not freezing the ban on appeal, but that was in part due to them fast-tracking these processes and the promise of a verdict before the summer. And so they delivered on that promise as well as the expectation of upholding the ban.

So, next obvious step: Court of Arbitration for Sport, and their miles of red tape and assumed suspension of the ban while they considered the case. Chelsea’s initial response to the FIFA Appeals Committee’s decision was to assure that the club “will” take the case to CAS. Subsequent reporting from the likes of Matt Law confirmed that step, but also dropped the bombshell that Chelsea did not specifically ask to have the ban suspended. CAS could still suspend it of their own volition.

However, more recent reports now suggest that Chelsea hadn’t even submitted the initial appeal, let alone the provision about a freeze.

ESPN’s Liam Twomey says Chelsea are “still weighing up” options, while Football.London’s Oliver Harbord says that when they contacted CAS, they were told CAS had not received any appeal from Chelsea.

“At the time of writing [May 21], the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has not received an appeal from Chelsea FC.”

-CAS statement; source: Football.London

What in the world is going on?

Law’s report last week hinted strongly at the possibility that Chelsea would simply take the punishment on the chin and then gear up for next summer. If that’s the club’s intention, then that’s certainly a bold choice — especially given all the other potential changes around the club, including Eden Hazard’s expected departure and Maurizio Sarri’s uncertain future.

It is possible that there’s some confusion caused by the apparent fact that Chelsea would have to submit two appeals (one for the ban itself, and one to have it suspended), which is not something that was separated before but then again, we don’t like to do things the easy way.

There will be questions asked either way, regardless of outcome.