Spanish second division leaders Cadiz have been banned from making signings over the next two transfer windows by FIFA.
The judgement was handed down over the Andalusian club’s signing of former Watford player Mamadou M’Baye, with the case outlined in a report in El Mundo.
Cadiz contacted the player last season and agreed a two-year contract with him without permission from the Hornets, although the Senegalese now plays for Cadiz’s B team.
FIFA have imposed a penalty of the player not being able to play in official competitions for four months alongside a penalty of €30k.
Cadiz argued that the player’s contract at Watford meant they could open negotiations without their permission for a move, but world football’s governing body dismissed this.
The Andalusian club – who have confirmed they will appeal the decision – currently lead the way in the Segunda and appear to be on course to win promotion to La Liga for next season – they sit eight points clear of Almeria, in third.