Didier Drogba awarded licence for European return

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Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has been given permission from FIFA to play for new club Galatasaray, despite complaints from his previous club Shanghai Shenhua.

The Chinese club have reportedly claimed Ivory Coast captain is still contracted to them but FIFA have ruled that he can turn out for the Turkish giants after they announced his signing during the January transfer window.

Drogba joined Shenhua after leaving Stamford Bridge on a free transfer when his contract expired.

The 34-year-old departed Chelsea a living great after inspiring them to Champions League glory over Bayern Munich last May – the first time the Blues have been crowned European champions.

However, reports of unrest at the Chinese Super League club were followed by Drogba’s representatives claiming his wages had gone unpaid, so making him free to join another club.

This dispute meant FIFA was required to rule on whether Galatasaray could field the former Premier League winner – the decision was released today.

“The Single Judge of Fifa's Players' Status Committee has authorised Turkish FF to provisionally register Didier Drogba," a statement on the governing body’s media 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."

Drogba joins former Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder in signing for the Turkish side.

Both are eligible to play in this season’s UEFA Champions League, which will give them a boost ahead of their last 16 clash with Schalke 04.

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