Istanbul – Didier Drogba has been given the go-ahead to play for Galatasary, a Turkish football federation source and the club said on Wednesday, after his former club Shanghai Shenhua disputed his move from China.
“(World governing body) Fifa's authorisation arrived yesterday (Tuesday). There's no problem. Drogba will be able to play on Friday,” a source at the TFF told AFP.
Galatasaray meanwhile said on their website that the TFF had told them that “Didier Drogba's temporary licence is ready”.
Ivory Coast striker Drogba, 34, signed an 18-month contract with top-flight Galatasaray at the end of January but Shanghai Shenhua, with whom he signed on a two-and-a-half year deal in June last year, opposed the move.
He will be paid €10 million to play in Turkey with a bonus of €15,000 for every match played.
The Chinese club, which had vowed to appeal to Fifa, will not be compensated for his departure, Turkish newspapers said, claiming the player's contract with Shanghai was null and void as he had not been paid for the last three months.
Galatasary are due to play German side Schalke 04 next Wednesday in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Drogba – a Champions League winner with English Premier League club Chelsea last season – is looking to relaunch his career in Europe and play at a higher standard than in China, with a view to being at the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014. – Sapa-AFP