Premier League club Chelsea have been banned from signing new players in the next two transfer windows as punishment for breaking rules on registering under-age players, FIFA said on Friday.
It means the club -- who immediately said they would appeal the decision -- 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.
The ban does not prevent players being released by the club and it does not apply to Chelsea's women's and futsal teams.
"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.