Chelsea have been handed a ban for the next two transfer windows after ‘influencing other clubs in transfer-related matters’ for players under the age of 18.
The Blues can not register players for the next two windows as it stands, with the club also fined £480,000 by FIFA.
Reports suggest that FIFA undertook a three-year investigation relating to the signing of more that 12 players by Chelsea.
Their findings have been sufficient to take action but Chelsea could appeal the decision, meaning the ban could be suspended.
Prior instances of similar infractions have seen the clubs involved appeal against the penalties.
That can delay the implementation of a registration ban and allow the club to sign players.
One example saw Barcelona handed a transfer ban by FIFA in 2014, however the La Liga giants appealed the decision.
And while that appeal was pending, the club were still allowed to be active during the 2014 summer transfer window.
Barcelona’s Spanish rivals Real Madrid were also handed a transfer ban, their one coming in 2016.
While FIFA allowed the Bernabeu outfit to sign players in the summer of 2016, the two-window ban was due to start in January 2017.
Real subsequently appealed with their ban cut to just the one window.
Chelsea must be aware though that not all appeals are successful.
Atletico Madrid were banned in July 2016 from registering player for two windows for the same reason as the Blues.
The club appealed and while their fine was reduced by almost £300,000, the ban was upheld.
In regards to the Chelsea decision, A FIFA statement read: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the English club Chelsea FC and The Football Association for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
“Chelsea was found to have breached art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of twenty-nine (29) minor players and to have committed several other infringements relating to registration requirements for players. The club also breached art. 18bis of the Regulations in connection with two agreements it concluded concerning minors and which allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer-related matters.
“The Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Chelsea with a ban on registering new players at both national and international level for the next two (2) complete and consecutive registration periods. This ban applies to the club as a whole – with the exception of the women’s and futsal teams – and does not prevent the release of players.
“Additionally, the club was fined CHF 600,000 and given a period of 90 days to regularise the situation of the minor players concerned.”
Chelsea have been given three days to appeal the decision.
The FA indicated within an hour of the FIFA announcement that they would appeal against the decision.
A tweet from the @FAspokesperson account read: “The FA notes the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee published today.
“The FA has co-operated fully with FIFA’s investigations, although we have raised some concerns with FIFA regarding its disciplinary processes.
“The FA intends to appeal the decision. We will however continue to work with FIFA and Chelsea in a constructive manner to address the issues which are raised by this case.
“As this is an ongoing legal process it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”