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By Chineze Ogugua

FIFA has opened investigation on both Chelsea and Manchester City over the manner of their recruitment of young players.

This will be the third time FIFA has looked at Chelsea of which they were banned from making signings for two years in 2009 and were also scrutinised last year for the 2014 signing of Bertrand Traore from Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso.

City were also fined £300,000 in May this year and banned from signing academy players for two years.

FIFA has stringent rules in place for signing players under the age of 18 to prevent exploitation and trafficking.

According to the rules, the transfer of under-18s to different countries by clubs is banned unless they meet strict criteria. It brought in the rules to help protect children from exploitation and trafficking.

FIFA listed the conditions of which an Under-18 can be transferred abroad as:

  1. If the player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasons.
  2. If both clubs are in the European Union or European Economic Area and the player is aged between 16 and 18. Even then, the buying club must meet more criteria relating to education, training, living conditions and support.They live within 100km of the club.

However, the two English clubs have exonerated themselves of any wrongdoing on the issue as they claim that they have followed due process in executing the transfers.


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