Supreme footballing authority FIFA have opened an investigation against Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City with regards to the signing of youth players under the age of 18 to prevent exploitation and trafficking.
This is the third time Chelsea has found itself in a fix over their dealings in signing young players. In 2009, Chelsea were also given a two year ban for not following the appropriate rules and regulations in dealing with young players.
Manchester City, meanwhile had to pay a £300,000 fine for their transfer activities. They were also banned from signing any academy players for two years by the Premier League in May this year itself.
BBC approached FIFA over confirmation and it confirmed that an investigation against these two Premier League clubs was "ongoing".
Manchester City are confident that they have not carried out any illegalities whereas Chelsea insist that they have complied with all FIFA statutes and regulations when recruiting players.
A gist of FIFA's rules on the transfer of Under-18 players:
Under-18s can only be transferred abroad if:
- The player's parents move to the country in which the new club is located for non-footballing reasons.
- 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.