FIFA grant Drogba licence to play for Gala
Didier Drogba has been granted a temporary licence to play for Galatasaray in the Turkish Super League and the Champions League.
There is some doubt about the legitimacy of the deal which took Drogba from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to Galatasaray in a €6 million deal on a contract until the summer of 2014, with Shenhua challenging the transfer.
FIFA has now granted Galatasaray permission to register the striker, pending the results of its investigation. Drogba was greeted by a hero’s welcome when he arrived in Turkey on Monday to complete the formalities of his transfer.
"The Single Judge of FIFA's Players' Status Committee has authorised Turkish FF to provisionally register Didier Drogba," a statement on FIFA Media's Twitter page read. "The Drogba decision is without prejudice and pending outcome of decision as to the substance of the contractual dispute with former club."
FIFA's decision means he will be eligible to play in the Champions League knockout game against Schalke on February 20 and he could be in line to make his league debut on Friday against Akhisar.
Two weeks ago a statement released on Shenhua's official website read: "The club is deeply shocked. Drogba is still a Shanghai Shenhua Football Club member as the contract between the two parties is still within its period of validity.
"The Shanghai Shenhua Football Club is ready to gather evidence and submit the findings to FIFA in order to protect its interests."
Drogba joined Shenhua following Chelsea's Champions League success last season but his reported wage of £200,000-a-week was said to have been causing the club financial problems. Nicolas Anelka also left the club last month, joining Serie A side Juventus on loan.
Meanwhile, Galatasaray have terminated the contract of Milan Baros by mutual consent.