The Irish FA have declared they sympathise with Kilrea United and TW Braga over fines of 10,000 Swiss francs imposed on them by Fifa but insist they respect the rules of world football's governing body.
Coleraine and District League outfit Kilrea and Lisburn League youth team TW Braga have been rocked by the punishments, which were relayed by the IFA last month.
Both clubs have stressed they fear for their futures, claiming they are unable to pay the hefty sums of almost £8,500 each ordered by Fifa's Disciplinary Committee.
With issues of international clearance and the registration of young players viewed seriously by Fifa, Kilrea were hit for playing unregistered English teenager Pierce Hill-Worrall last season, while TW Braga were punished following an investigation into the registration of their ex-player Hassan Ayari, the 17-year-old from America who is now with Premier League Sheffield United.
Kilrea and TW Braga had been hoping the IFA could help them with the matter but, when contacted about the situation, an IFA spokesperson issued this statement: "The financial penalty relates to a breach of Fifa rules.
"'Fifa Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players requires that any Northern Ireland Football Club which registers an underage player from another country is required to ensure the appropriate application process is followed under the Fifa Protection of Minors provisions and protocols.
"Where these cases are correctly brought to the attention of the Irish FA, we assist clubs in completing these applications.
"Our role in this instance has been to act as conduit for correspondence from Fifa to the club as is our obligation as its member association.
"Whilst we have sympathy with the clubs in relation to the level of the fines, we are respectful of the rules in place to protect minors when travelling between countries."