Lens agree with Fifa ruling
Lens president Gervais Martel believes banning Chelsea from signing players for 18 months is fair.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 04/09/09 12:28pm
Lens president Gervais Martel believes Fifa's decision to ban Chelsea from signing new players for 18 months is a fair punishment.
The Blues have been found guilty by football's governing body for inducing former Lens ace Gael Kakuta to break his contract with the French club so he could complete a switch to Stamford Bridge.
The Frenchman was only 15 when Chelsea came calling in 2007 and Lens immediately complained to Fifa.
Chelsea are expected to appeal the decision that currently means they will be redundant in the next two transfer windows as well as being ordered to pay 130,000 euros in compensation to Lens while Kakuta must hand his former club 780,000 euros 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.
"That is why I ask for €5million compensation.
"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.