ZURICH, Nov 22: FIFA have refused Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba permission to leave China’s Shanghai Shenhua on loan before the January transfer window.

FIFA said they had received a request to be registered outside an open registration period from the former Chelsea forward, whose season in the Chinese Super League is over.

The 34-year-old wants to keep himself sharp for the African Nations Cup which begins on Jan 19.

“Any professional player who is registered with a club that is affiliated to one association shall not be eligible to play for a club affiliated to a different association,” FIFA, football’s world governing body, said in a statement on Thursday, quoting their rules on the status and transfer of players.—Reuters

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