International governing body of football, FIFA, on Friday February 22nd banned Premier League club Chelsea from signing new players in the next two transfer windows, as a punishment for breaking the rules on registering under-age players, which Chelsea categorically refuted, AFP has reported.
The ban means the club will be unable to make signings until the end of January next year.
"The disciplinary committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods," FIFA said in a statement.
In addition, Chelsea were fined 600,000 Swiss francs ($600,000, 530,000 euros) and given a period of 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned.
In response, Chelsea said Friday February 22nd that they "categorically refute" FIFA's finding that they broke rules on registering under-age players, and will appeal the decision.
"Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA disciplinary committee and will therefore be appealing the decision," said a statement on the club's website.