Europe’s worst kept secret was unraveled a couple of days ago and has quickly faded out of the public’s interest, but I believe the lifting of Chelsea’s transfer ban is worth another mention. The whole fiasco was due to Chelsea “influencing” Lens youngster Gael Kakuta to break his contract and sign for the Premiership leaders, which according to FIFA was such a crime that they slapped the London club with a two-year ban from signing anyone in the transfer market.

It appeared to be a bold move that “sought to protect youngsters” from the “clutches of the big clubs”, perhaps an attempt to make FIFA seem like they really do care about fair play and a certain sense of a level playing-field between clubs. An attempt which was abandoned as soon as everyone realized how ridiculous the whole situation was. Chelsea paid a small compensation sum of £113,000 to Lens, got their player, and FIFA’s great crusade was over.

It all reeks of sense of poor organization to me. FIFA want to appear concerned and act as if they have the power to at least somewhat regulate the rich clubs, but attempts like this fall way off the mark. The proposed punishment for such a misunderstanding seemed blown way out of proportion in the first place, but the ease with which Chelsea got them to lift it speaks even more as to how flimsy FIFA are. Which is nothing new under Sepp Blatter’s presidency, to be honest.


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