Soccer-Cases like Kakuta's ruining football, says French FA boss

PARIS, Sept 4 Fri Sep 4, 2009 6:14pm IST

PARIS, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Cases like that of teenager Gael Kakuta are ruining football, French Football Federation (FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes said on Friday.

"We discussed the Kakuta case and those transfers of young kids which are ruining football," he told Reuters after an FFF meeting as he welcomed FIFA's decision to sanction Chelsea.

"We had alerted FIFA and the relevant (English) Federation against such misbehaviour," he added.

"This is like Qatar, who send their sporting director to the Paris area to recruit youngsters. We are perfectly happy to see such misbehaviour being sanctioned."

Chelsea were banned on Thursday by soccer's world governing body from signing players until January 2011 for improper conduct when they signed Kakuta, now 18, from French side Racing Lens in 2007.

Chelsea captain John Terry, asked about the ban during an England news conference ahead of Saturday's friendly with Slovenia, said: "It was a big shock for me, I have spoken to the club this morning and they are appealing over the matter."

TOP HONOURS

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, speaking after a training session with Serbia ahead of their World Cup qualifier against France on Wednesday, told Reuters:

"I can't comment on the ban but we have a good team capable of challenging for the top honours. We will do our best to live up to the club's ambitions, and we all know what they are."

Matthieu Reeb, secretary general of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Lausanne, said Chelsea can expect a decision on their appeal by December.

CAS has the final judgement in the matter.

"If the appeal is fielded within the deadline of the next 21 days we should have the appeal in the next two or three weeks.

"Then the CAS can proceed in an expedited manner depending on whether the party has agreed to expedite the procedure," Reeb told Sky Sports News.

"But at the least we will probably issue a decision at the end of November or mid-December.

"We will have a panel of three arbitrators, so three judges. One will be selected by Chelsea the other by FC Lens and FIFA and the chairman will be CAS.

"It will be a final decision which would replace the FIFA decision if necessary. The CAS decision can be appealed only before the Swiss Supreme Court, which is for the Swiss tribunal.

"There could be a final ruling before Christmas."

(Reporting by Christophe Michel, additional reporting by Mike Collett in London and Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade, writing by Patrick Vignal, editing by Ken Ferris; To query or comment on this story e-mail sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

(patrick.vignal@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 53 70; Reuters Messaging: patrick.vignal.reuters.com@reuters.net; For the new Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sports)

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