Paris - FIFA has turned down a request from Ivorian striker Didier Drogba to be allowed to leave Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on loan to a European club ahead of the transfer window.
Drogba, who has been linked with a short-term move back to former club Chelsea before the start of the Chinese league in a bid to build fitness for the African Nations Cup in January, had put in a request to the world governing body.
FIFA said in a statement: "We can confirm that the player Didier Drogba submitted a request for authorisation to be registered outside an open registration period for a club on a loan basis.
"FIFA has informed him about the relevant regulations... that players may only be registered during one of the two annual registration periods fixed by the relevant association."
FIFA said the only exception was when a player's contract expired outside a transfer window. Drogba is under contract with the Chinese club until 2015.