Four clubs — two in Qatar, one in the United Arab Emirates and one in Iran — have been fined and threatened with points deductions, FIFA said on Friday.
The world football governing body said in a statement that the clubs were being sanctioned for ignoring orders to pay “overdue’’ amounts to players.
The clubs are Qatar Sports Club and Al-Shamal Sports Club, both based in Qatar, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (UAE) and Saba Qom (Iran).
They have been given deadlines of between 30 and 90 days to pay up.
FIFA said: “Any club which did not meet its deadline will have six points deducted from it in its domestic league and banned from signing players for the next one or two transfer period.”
The four clubs had failed to comply with previous orders, either from FIFA or following appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, FIFA said.
The fines ranged from 15,000 (£11,843.3 pounds) to 30,000 Swiss francs.
FIFA said the decisions marked a “new framework” for debtor clubs.
In a separate decision, FIFA announced that La Liga side Atletico Madrid had been fined 52,000 euros ($59,192) for a deal with a player which involved “third-party influence”.
FIFA said the Spanish club entered into a contract which “enabled a third party to influence the club’s independence in employment and transfer-related matters”.
It said this this breached transfer and players’ status rules.
FIFA policy on third-party ownership bans either clubs or players from entering into economic rights agreements with third-party investors.
Frequently such deals involve outside investors retaining or gaining a share in ownership of a player.