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Last Updated: Thursday September 03 2009 18:46 GMT

Blues banned from buying players

Newsround's Adam

Chelsea get 18-month transfer ban

Chelsea have been banned from buying any new players until January 2011 after breaking world transfer rules.

The people in charge of football around the world, Fifa, imposed the ban because Chelsea didn't obey the rules when they signed a young French player.

Gael Kakuta played for French side Lens before joining Chelsea in June 2007.

Fifa said Chelsea persuaded Kakuta to break a contract so he was free to change clubs. Chelsea says it will appeal against the transfer ban.

A statement from the club said it would "mount the strongest appeal possible" against the punishment.

The statement went on to say that the punishment was much too severe for the alleged offence.

Gael Kakuta
Gael Kakuta

The ban from Fifa covers the next two transfer windows - January 2010 and summer 2010. That means the next time Chelsea will be able to buy any new players is January 2011.

The club has also been ordered to pay Lens £114,000 (130,000 Euros) for training costs.

Kakuta has been fined £681,000 (780,000 Euros), although Chelsea may help him pay the fine, and he's not allowed to play in any big games anywhere in the world for four months.

Similar offences

Chelsea aren't the first team to get in trouble for this type of rule-breaking.

A team from Switzerland, called Sion, is appealing against a similar punishment from Fifa, after it contacted a new goalkeeper before the contract with his club had finished.

Sion are appealing to an organisation called the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) - the highest sporting court in the world.

Sion are also banned from making any transfers at the moment, but that ban has been suspended while Cas decides if the punishment is fair.

A decision is expected later in 2009.