The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has granted Chelsea’s request for their Fifa transfer ban to be suspended pending a final decision.
Chelsea were initially handed a ban over the next two transfer windows for their part in the signing of French teenager Gael Kakuta from Lens in 2007.
However, the appeals body has given the London club a lifeline which will allow them to sign players again in January provided a decision is not taken before then.
A statement on the CAS website read: ”The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has granted the request for a stay filed by Chelsea Football Club Ltd and Mr Gaël Kakuta in relation to the decision taken by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber on 27 August 2009.
”The FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber imposed, inter alia, a restriction of four months’ ineligibility on Mr Gaël Kakuta, and Chelsea Football Club Ltd was banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the next two complete, consecutive registration periods. Such sanctions are now stayed until the CAS renders its final decision in this matter.”
No date has been given for a final decision from Cas.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti stated he is happy with the players currently at his disposal and was in no hurry to spend.
“Now, thanks to this decision we have time to look for new players,” said Ancelotti, who will lose Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and John Mikel Obi to the African Nations Cup in January.
“We don’t want to take a decision in this moment. At the moment, I’m very happy with the squad, these players, and it’s not necessary at the moment to take new players.
“I know we will lose four in January but if we maintain the players’ fitness we can do a good period also without the African players.
Fifa had banned the Premier League leaders in September from any transfers during the next two windows after they were found guilty of inducing Kakuta to breach his contract with French club Lens in 2007.
Under the terms of the original Fifa punishment, Kakuta was ordered to pay compensation of €780,000, for which Chelsea were “jointly and severally liable”.
Chelsea were also told to pay Lens “training compensation” of €130,000.