Cork City's plans for the new eircom League season were dealt a blow yesterday when FIFA rejected their applications to register Colin Healy and Gareth Farrelly with the club.

Manager Damien Richardson had been hoping to secure the signature of the midfielders, but as both players have already played for two clubs in the past 12 months, they are not permitted to sign for a third club.

Under existing FIFA laws, no player can turn out for three clubs in the space of 12 months.

However, City will now appeal the decision to FIFA's Player Status Committee and hope that they will be granted the same dispensation that saw Javier Mascherano sign for Liverpool despite having played for Corinthians and West Ham United.

Speaking in today's Irish Daily Star, Richardson said: 'We have to put the case forward to FIFA of the accentuating circumstances of both players. It is very disappointing.

'Neither of them have been playing regularly and Colin was only on loan to Bradford (from Sunderland) for a short time.

'I'm still confident we can get them. They have both signed for us and they are both registered with the league.'

On a brighter note, Neal Horgan has penned a two-year deal with the club, while Billy Woods is also expected to re-sign for the Turner's Cross outfit.