Chelsea say they are “astonished” by Fifa’s decision not to freeze their transfer ban while they appeal against the punishment.
Football’s world governing body announced on Friday that its appeals committee had rejected Chelsea’s request to suspend the ban until after their appeal has been heard.
The Blues were hit with a one-year ban last month, after Fifa found that they had breached rules relating to the signing of underage players.
Several Spanish clubs have had similar bans frozen during the appeals process, allowing them to continue signing players, and Chelsea expected to be afforded similar treatment.
A statement from the club read: “Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the FIFA Appeal Committee’s decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process.
Fifa deny Chelsea request to freeze transfer ban during appeal
“The club acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and has already notified FIFA of its intention to appeal against the Disciplinary Committee’s decision and sanction.
“As a matter of procedural fairness and equality of treatment, and Swiss law, the Club’s right to an appeal process must be afforded, before any irremediable sanction takes effect.
“So far as the Club is aware, in all previous cases where a registration ban has been imposed by FIFA, a decision has also been made to suspend the sanction until the appeal process has been completed. In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs.”
Chelsea could yet appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the hope of securing an interim ruling that would allow them to sign players this summer. The club denies any wrongdoing.