Chelsea have confirmed they will appeal against the transfer ban imposed by FIFA.
The world governing body banned the Premier League club from signing any players until January 2011, after they were found guilty of inducing French teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens.
The 18-year-old winger joined Chelsea from the Ligue 1 side in 2007, after which the French club lodged a complaint with FIFA.
FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) has passed their decision on the contractual dispute and handed down a hefty ban and substantial fine to the Blues.
Chelsea hit back at the ruling by issuing the following statement on their official website:
"Chelsea will mount the strongest appeal possible following the decision of FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber over Gaël Kakuta. The sanctions are without precedent to this level and totally disproportionate to the alleged offence and the financial penalty imposed. We cannot comment further until we receive the full written rationale for this extraordinarily arbitrary decision."
FIFA will now send official documentation to Stamford Bridge and upon receipt of those notification papers Chelsea will have 10 days in which to lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
A statement from FIFA read:
"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 a 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. 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."
In July 2005, Italian club Roma were banned from signing players for a period of one year over the controversial signing of defender Philippe Mexes from French club Auxerre. However, on appeal the CAS later ordered FIFA to cut its ban to cover a single transfer window.
Swiss club FC Sion also found themselves in trouble in April 2009 when FIFA banned them from conducting transfers until the end of the 2009/10 season due to their signing of Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, who was still under contract with Al-Ahly. FC Sion have appealed to the CAS, with their punishment frozen until the case is concluded.