Chelsea have been banned from signing any new players in the next two transfer windows by Fifa.
The world’s governing body have handed down the punishment after French clubs Lens made an official complaint over Chelsea’s signing of their young player Gael Kakuta in 2007.
“Chelsea is banned from registering any new players for the two next registration periods,” a statement on Fifa’s website read.
Chelsea can appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Lens lodged a complaint with world football’s governing body after Chelsea had signed the winger two years ago.
Now Fifa’s dispute resolution chamber (DRC) has ruled that Kakuta breached his contract with Lens and that Chelsea encouraged him to do so.
Fifa’s statement continued: “The French club had lodged a claim with Fifa seeking compensation for breach of contract from the player and requesting also sporting sanctions to be imposed on the player and the English club for breach of contract and inducement to breach of contract.
“The DRC found that the player had indeed breached a contract signed with the French club. Equally, the DRC deemed it to be established that the English club induced the player to such breach.”
“As a result the player was condemned to pay compensation in the amount of €780,000, for which the club, Chelsea, are jointly and severally liable, and sporting sanctions were imposed on both the player and Chelsea in accordance with art. 17 par. 3 and 4 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
“A restriction of four months on his eligibility to play in official matches has been imposed on Kakuta. Chelsea are banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision. Furthermore, the club, Chelsea, have to pay Lens training compensation in the amount of €130,000.”
The DRC ruled that Kakuta must pay compensation of €780,000, for which Chelsea are “jointly and severally liable”.
Chelsea must pay additional “training compensation” of €130,000 to Lens, while the player has been banned from playing in official matches for four months.
Kakuta ended 2007/8, his first season with Chelsea, as the youth team’s top scorer and was voted the academy’s player of the year. Last season his season came to a premature conclusion in February when he suffered a double fracture of his ankle.