Spezia have been handed a two-year transfer ban, for breaching FIFA rules by bringing in underage Nigerian players.
They will not be allowed to sign new players for four transfer windows starting from January 2022.
According to FIFA, Spezia brought “several Nigerian minors into Italy using a scheme aimed at circumventing RSTP (FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players) regulation as well as national immigration law”.
The world football governing body also fined the Italian club 500,000 Swiss francs.
The same punishment was also imposed on USD Lavagnese 1919 and Valdivara 5 Terre, two clubs FIFA said “played an active role in the aforementioned scheme”.
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Spezia were promoted to Serie A for the first time in 2020 before finishing 15th last season.
The club has already said they would appeal “an extremely harsh sanction,” pointing out “the alleged irregularities occurred in the period between 2013 and 2018, therefore under the previous administration of the club.”