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A huge range of World Cup qualifiers to get stuck into this weekend – see all the best price betting here.

Lens president Gervais Martel has supported FIFA’s decision to ban Chelsea from signing new players for 18 months.

The Premier League outfit have been found guilty of inducing former Lens player Gael Kakuta to break his contract with the French club so he could complete a move to Stamford Bridge.

The Frenchman was only 15 when Chelsea made their movein 2007 and Lens immediately complained to Fifa.

Chelsea are expected to appeal against the ban. The club was also ordered to pay €130,000 in compensation to Lens while Kakuta must hand his former club €780,000 with the Blues jointly liable for the payment.

“We expected this kind of decision. The player was under contract with us, and they came and stole him away from us,” Martel told AFP.

“Chelsea didn’t follow the rules. They contacted the player when he wasn’t even 16 yet, and while he had been contracted to our training group from the age of eight.

“The financial sanction isn’t over the top given the nature of the infringement, but it’s really quite significant when it comes to not being able to recruit players.

“It’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.”

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