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Court lifts Chelsea transfer ban over Kakuta signing

Gael Kakuta
Kakuta, 18, joined Chelsea from French side Lens in 2007

Chelsea have had their transfer ban lifted after reaching an agreement with Lens over the signing of Gael Kakuta.

The Blues were barred in September from signing new players until 2011 after being found guilty of inducing Kakuta, 18, to break his contract with Lens.

But the two clubs and the teenager have now accepted the player's contract with the French side was not valid.

However, Chelsea will still give Lens £113,000 in compensation towards the costs of developing the player.

A statement on the club website from chairman Bruce Buck said Chelsea were glad to have resolved the matter amicably.

"It was always our intention to work together with Lens to reach this end, and both clubs have strengthened their relationship as a result of resolving this case to everyone's satisfaction," he said.

"In an act of good faith and with a view to the possibility of future collaboration with Lens, and without recognising any liability, Chelsea has agreed to pay compensation costs for the training given to the player while at Lens, as mandated by Fifa in its original ruling."


After being barred by Fifa, football's world governing body, from signing new players until 2011, Chelsea appealed and were cleared to sign new players in January's transfer window pending a final decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Cas eventually handed down its verdict on Thursday.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport has issued an award today ratifying the agreement reached by Chelsea FC, Racing Club de Lens and the French football player Gael Kakuta," it said in a statement.

"The Cas has noted that, in the agreement, the two clubs and the player have recognised that the contract between the player and RC Lens was not valid.

"Accordingly, the player could not have terminated it prematurely and without just cause and FC Chelsea cannot therefore be liable for inducing a breach of contract.

"As a consequence, in light of these new circumstances, the sanctions imposed upon Chelsea FC and the player by the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber had to be lifted."

Ligue 1 club Lens said in a statement they were pleased with the agreement both "financially and technically".

"RC Lens have steadily worked to reach an agreement between all parties and this decision gives us recognition for the quality of our youth academy and it offers the possibility to have a technical co-operation with one of the greatest European clubs," the French club said on their website.

Kakuta will also be delighted with the outcome, having been originally ordered to pay £680,000 compensation, which Fifa said Chelsea were "jointly liable" for, while also receiving a four-month ban from competitive matches.

A France under-19 international, he had been at Lens since he was eight and went through their schooling system.

He joined Chelsea in 2007 and finished his first season at the club as the youth team's top scorer, winning the academy's player of the year award.

In his second season, he broke into the youth and reserve teams before suffering a double fracture of his ankle in February 2009.

Kakuta made his first-team debut in the 4-0 win over Wolves at the end of November.

"RC Lens wishes Gael Kakuta the best and longest possible career with Chelsea," the French club added.

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see also
Chelsea 4-0 Wolves
21 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Chelsea chief defends Kakuta deal
08 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Taylor supports U18 transfer ban
06 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Transfer embargo hope for Chelsea
05 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea angered by signings ban
04 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Man Utd deny 'stealing' youngster
01 Aug 09 |  Man Utd
New-boy Cole defends Chelsea move
08 Sep 06 |  Chelsea
Chelsea will not fight Cole fine
15 Jun 05 |  Chelsea

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