Chelsea have so far avoided a recommended transfer ban which would span over four separate transfer windows due to their involvement in recruiting minors, according to reports from French outlet Mediapart.
This revelation has come alongside the current Football Leaks saga, and much of what surrounds Chelsea focuses on the signing of Bertrand Traoré, who reportedly was still underage when they signed him from the Association Jeunes Espoirs of Bobo-Dioulasso (AJEB) in Burkina Faso for €400k.
Traoré was first registered with the club in 2014 some months after his 18th birthday, but Mediapart (via Get French Football News) report investigations found that Chelsea had actually signed the winger prior to him becoming an adult.
A case was opened but then quickly closed as Chelsea told FIFA that Traoré hadn't played in an official match for them, insisting that he was at that stage only on trial with the club.
Two years later, however, the case was reopened following investigations by the media.
Interesting line in Belgian Football Leaks (@destandaard) about Anderlecht’s transfers of minors. Also a mention of Chelsea’s case (14 transfers of minors). FIFA Integrity & Compliance Department suggested a fine and a 2-year transfer ban. Still no decision though. #cfc pic.twitter.com/3VGOsGpjPa— Kristof Terreur 📰 (@HLNinEngeland) November 10, 2018
It was found that Traoré attended a private school in London between 2011 and 2013, and that the player had been involved in an Under-18 match against Arsenal, which was reported on the Gunners' website.
Chelsea were forced to admit that they had an option to buy Traoré as early as April 2011 worth €192k. Mediapart report that this first refusal option which was negotiated by Traoré's mother saw her pocket €177k.
The remaining €15k of that sum would have gone to AJEB, a team chaired by Traoré's mother.
The investigation into Traoré's move eventually found that he had played 25 games for Chelsea at various levels before he was registered with the Football Association.
In mitigation, however, emails were discovered where Chelsea had expressed their concerns to the FA at the potential issues surrounding third party ownership, but Traoré's contract didn't get registered by the authorities.
Surprised its taken this long for something to come out about Traore tbh - there was always something weird about it— Matt License (@MattLicense) November 13, 2018
Mediapart's report over Traoré's transfer concludes that FIFA found Chelsea had completed an 'illegal international transfer of a minor.'
It was supposedly recommended when looking at Traoré's case alone that Chelsea should be banned for making any signings for one transfer window and that they should receive a fine of 59k Swiss francs - just over £45k.
In total, Mediapart report that Chelsea accumulated 19 offences which related to their recruitment, although it is unknown at what stage the investigation into the club is currently at.