Chelsea 'astonished' by FIFA decision
Chelsea have said they are "astonished" by FIFA's decision not to delay their two-window transfer ban while their appeal is heard.
FIFA's Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Chelsea in relation to 29 cases where the Premier League club were found to have breached regulations relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.
Chelsea immediately said they "categorically refute" FIFA's claims and signalled they would appeal against the decision.
Confirmation an appeal had been filed was made this week and FIFA announced on Friday that the ban preventing Chelsea from registering players for two windows will still stand while the appeal is heard.
In a statement published on its official website soon after FIFA's announcement, Chelsea said: "Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the FIFA Appeal Committee's decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process.
"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.
"We will consider our next steps once we have received the written reasons for this decision from FIFA. The club notes the Appeal Committee's statement that it has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In the meantime, the club will continue to fully cooperate with the proceedings."
Barcelona were given a similar transfer ban in 2014 but the LaLiga club made an appeal that pushed the punishment into the following year.
They signed Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Jeremy Mathieu, Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen before the ban came into effect.