Chelsea have lost their appeal against Fifa’s decision to ban them from signing players during the next two transfer windows.
The former Premier League champions, Chelsea were initially slapped with the two-window ban by FIFA in February for breaching rules in relation to signing under-age non EU players.
The Blues had initially expected their ban to be suspended over the summer while they appealed against the sentence, as it was for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in similar circumstances.
But FIFA announced on Wednesday that, following an appeal, they have decided to go through with the ban although Chelsea can now go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for one final attempt to overturn the decision.
Chelsea can only sign players under the age of 16 during their ban.
Chelsea may now be forced to recall some of their 32 players currently out on loan, the likes of Kenneth Omeruo and Ola Aina who is at Leganes and Torino respectively.