In a boost to Chelsea’s manager Frank Lampard, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the length of FIFA-imposed transfer ban from two windows to one, meaning the club can now sign new players in the January 2020 window.
In December 2018, FIFA handed Chelsea a two-window transfer ban and fined them £460,000 ($599,000), after FIFA found them guilty of breaching rules relating to the transfers of 29 players under the age of 18.
The club were found to have breached Article 19 and Article 18b of the Regulation of Transfers and Status of Players by FIFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.
Friday’s decision by CAS marked Chelsea’s second appeal of the ban after FIFA rejected an earlier attempt to lift the ban and upheld their decision in May, but altered the ruling to allow the club to sign players younger than 16.
FIFA opened its investigation into Chelsea’s academy for potential transfer rule breaches in 2016, when pictures emerged of Bertrand Traore playing against Arsenal in a non-competitive match as a 16-year-old.
The club said they had approval from both the Football Association and Premier League to play Traore in trial games.
Chelsea have shown few signs of being affected by the transfer ban this season under the leadership of Frank Lampard, who took over last summer, leading to academy graduates including Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori taking leading roles in the side.