World governing football body, FIFA has reduced Chelsea football club transfer ban following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Blues are now free to sign players in January.
The Premier League side was served a two-window ban and a $600,000 fine by Fifa in February after 150 rule breaches involving the signing of 69 young players for several seasons.
This ban forced the London team to depend on their academy player and fringe players since they were unable to sign any player in the summer. However, FIFA has reduced the punishment for the London team moving the transfer ban from two-windows to just one and also fine from $600,000 to $300,000.
According to the judgement published by Fifa, the Blues "did violate" rules "related to the international transfer of minors" and "to the first registration of minors" but "for a significantly smaller number of players" amounting to "about a third of the violations found by Fifa"
"In addition, the violations of other RSTP (Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players) rules were found to be less serious than those attributed to Chelsea by Fifa."
Although, Chelsea claimed many academy players were only triallists and did not play in organised matches. Chelsea lodged an appeal to Cas against the Fifa punishment, which was also prompted by an investigation into the Premier League club's signing of foreign under-18 players.
Fifa bans the transfer of under-18s to different countries unless the moves meet strict criteria, such as the parents moving to the country for non-footballing reasons. The rules were introduced to help protect children from exploitation and trafficking.