Defiant Chelsea hit back as FIFA impose transfer ban

ANGRY Chelsea chiefs last night vowed to launch the &ldquo;strongest possible appeal&rdquo; to a sensational FIFA ruling which banned them from making any new signings until January 2011.<br /><br />The Blues were hit with the astonishing penalty after being found guilty of inducing promising youngster Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with French club Lens two years ago.<br /><br />It means mega-rich Blues owner Roman Abramovich will have to keep his hands in his pockets for the next two transfer windows &ndash; a decision which Stamford Bridge chiefs describe as &ldquo;totally disproportionate and extraordinary&rdquo;.<br /><br />At the same time, left-winger Kakuta, who is yet to appear in the first team, has been banned from playing for four months and must pay 780,000 euros (&pound;682,000) compensation for which the club are &ldquo;jointly and severally liable&rdquo;.<br /><br />Chelsea themselves must pay an additional &ldquo;training compensation&rdquo; of 130,000 euros (&pound;114,000) to Lens.<br /><br />Blues chiefs will now take their appeal straight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In a statement last night they confirmed: &ldquo;Chelsea will mount the strongest appeal possible following the decision of FIFA&rsquo;s Dispute Resolution Chamber over Gael Kakuta.<br /><br />&ldquo;The sanctions are without precedent to this level and totally disproportionate to the alleged offence and the financial penalty imposed. We cannot comment further until we receive the full written rationale for this extraordinarily arbitrary decision.&rdquo;<br /><br />Having investigated Lens&rsquo; complaint, the FIFA verdict read: &ldquo;The French club had lodged a claim with FIFA seeking compensation for breach of contract from the player and requesting also sporting sanctions to be imposed on the player and the English club for breach of contract and inducement to breach of contract respectively.<br /><br />&ldquo;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 breach.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lens president Gervais Martel was satisfied with the ruling and hopes it will stop the larger clubs praying on their smaller counterparts.<br /><br />&ldquo;We expected this kind of decision. The player was under contract with us and they came and stole him away from us,&rdquo; Martel said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an important message given that protecting up and coming youth players who are contracted to clubs is an issue being followed closely by Uefa president Michel Platini.&rdquo;