Chelsea are facing a potential ban from the transfer market after being investigated by FIFA with regards to rule breaches concerning foreign players under the age of 18.
FIFA rules state that clubs cannot bring in players under 18 from other countries, unless their parents have emigrated for reasons not connected to football or both the player and club are based within 50km of a national border.
The governing body has been carrying out a long-standing investigation against Chelsea after they found over 25 player cases which they believed warranted further scrutiny. Now, according to The Guardian, FIFA are set to make their final decision regarding their investigation into the ways Chelsea have registered academy players over a number of years.
If Chelsea are found guilty of any infractions then a transfer ban is to be expected. The French investigative website Mediapart reported last November as part of the Football Leaks expose that FIFA would seek to impose a four-window ban on Chelsea, together with a fine of £383,000.
Chelsea contend that the vast majority of the player cases involved in the investigation were simply players selected for trials at the club and were not members of the Chelsea setup.
Chelsea have not commented, but have referred back to a statement they made back in November where stated they had "fully cooperated with FIFA and provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable FIFA regulations.”
FIFA have previously investigated the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid for infringements relating to the signing of minors and all three clubs were given a two-window transfer ban as a result - although Real's was reduced to one window after an appeal to the court of arbitration for sport.