London, Jan 19: English football club Chelsea have been accused by FIFA after an initial investigation of signing 25 foreign players under the age of 18.
The number of cases could rise, with the matter now in the hands of the governing body's discipliry committee, which has the power to impose sanctions -- chief among them a ban on transfers, The Guardian reported.
According to the FIFA regulations, clubs are not permitted to sign players under the age of 18 from other countries unless their parents have emigrated for reasons not connected to football or both the player and club are based within 50km of a tiol border.
Under Fifa's Article 19, the only other exception is for transfers within either the European Union or European Economic Area where the player is aged between 16 and 18. IANS