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By ESPN Staff

FIFA block Cousin deal to Fulham

Striker Daniel Cousin was tonight told he must stay at Rangers for the rest of the season after FIFA blocked his £3million move to Fulham.

Rangers accepted the big-money offer from the Cottagers on January 22 and stood to make a profit of around £2million on the player they signed from French club Lens in August.

However article five of FIFA's player status regulations state a footballer can only appear for two clubs in the same season.

And with Cousin having appeared for Lens and Rangers already, the world governing body refused to bend their rules to let the deal go through.

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain was dismayed by the time it had taken to deal with the case, and by FIFA's eventual ruling.

Bain said: 'It has been a frustrating time for all the parties concerned and we are disappointed that it has taken FIFA so long to make a decision.

'We received a good offer from Fulham for the player and entered into the proposed transfer fully aware he had already made two appearances for Lens before joining Rangers -- one start in the Intertoto Cup in July and a late substitute appearance against Bordeaux in the French league.'

Bain told Rangers' website, 'Both clubs' legal advisors agreed that there was solid ground for an appeal to FIFA and are disappointed with the decision which prevents Daniel from completing the move.

'As a result, Daniel remains a Rangers player, fully committed to helping the club push for domestic and European success this season.'

Cousin was keen on the move, and Rangers and Fulham were happy to press ahead after being told it could go through outside the transfer window, if FIFA ruled in their favour.

However Cousin, 31, may now have missed his chance to play in the Barclays Premier League, with no guarantee Fulham will come back in for him in the summer.

In a short statement, Fulham said: 'Whilst the club respects the decision of the governing body, it is of course extremely disappointed, especially on behalf of the player, who we wish well for the future.''

The profit aspect of the deal made it attractive to Rangers, and Cousin fancied the move after making no secret of his ambition to play at the highest level in England.

However, the Gabon forward has come back into the Rangers team in the past fortnight and has pledged to give his all as Walter Smith's side seek trophies on four fronts.

Cousin said: 'Obviously, when I heard I had the opportunity to move to the Premier League and the offer was right both for myself and Rangers, it was difficult to turn down.

'However, I made it clear all along that I have enjoyed my time at Rangers and I am more than happy to stay, fight for my place and help the manager and the rest of the squad compete for silverware this season.'