FIFA gives Chelsea 1-year transfer ban

Chelsea was banned from signing any new players for a year because it encouraged a teenager to break his contract with a French team and sign with the English soccer power.

The sport's governing body Thursday barred Chelsea from taking part in the next two transfer windows — January 2010 and the next offseason. The next time the Premier League team would be able to sign a new player — nationally or internationally — would be January 2011.

The French club Lens had complained that Chelsea lured 18-year-old striker Gael Kakuta to break his contract and join the English team in 2008. FIFA said it "established that the English club induced the player to such breach," The Associated Press reports.

A statement from FIFA read: "The DRC found that the player had indeed breached a contract signed with the French club. Equally, the DRC deemed it to be established that the English club induced the player to such a breach.

"As a result the player was condemned to pay compensation in the amount of €780,000, for which the club, Chelsea, are jointly and severally liable.

"A restriction of four months on his eligibility to play in official matches has been imposed on Kakuta. Chelsea are banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision.

"Furthermore, the club, Chelsea, have to pay Lens training compensation in the amount of €130,000," reports ESPN.

Starting the season with hamstring problems and seeing it curtailed in February with a double fracture of his ankle, Kakuta managed just seven appearances in total last year.

Those troubles have not dampened the hope at Stamford Bridge, though, with Frank Lampard among the senior figures to have lavished praise on the 18 year-old, and new manager Carlo Ancelotti sufficiently impressed to include him as part of Chelsea’s reserve pool for the Champions League.

Following Fifa’s draconian punishment for club and player, however, he will not feature at all in this year’s group stage, according to