FIFA denies request from Chelsea to freeze transfer ban

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says its appeals committee has denied a request from Chelsea to freeze a one-year transfer ban while the club challenges the punishment.

Chelsea could now ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport to grant an interim ruling, which would allow players to be signed in the offseason.

Chelsea was banned from registering new players through January 2020 for breaking rules designed to protect teenage players. The club denies wrongdoing.

In previous similar cases involving top Spanish clubs, FIFA granted provisional measures which meant transfer bans were not enforced during the appeal process.

The FIFA appeal panel chairman, Thomas Bodstrom, joined soccer’s governing body after those Spanish cases were decided.