Posted: Wed February 13, 2013 11:13AM; Updated: Wed February 13, 2013 11:12AM

FIFA clears Didier Drogba to play for Galatasaray

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Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast
Didier Drogba (left) is coming off an early exit out of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Armando Franca/AP

ZURICH (AP) -- FIFA has provisionally cleared Didier Drogba to play for Galatasaray, though it says his contractual dispute case with Shanghai Shenhua remains open.

Drogba can play in a Champions League last-16, first leg at home to Schalke next Wednesday. He can make his Turkish league debut at Akhisar on Friday.

Shanghai Shenhua has filed a complaint with FIFA that Drogba broke a contract which runs through 2014.

FIFA says its players' status panel has "authorized the Turkish Football Federation to provisionally register'' Drogba for Galatasaray, which also signed Wesley Sneijder last month.

FIFA says Drogba's clearance is given "without prejudice to and pending the outcome of a decision'' in the contract case.

If FIFA finds for Shanghai Shenhua, the sanctions could include a ban for Drogba and transfer embargo for Galatasaray.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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