Rangers' manager, Walter Smith, yesterday urged Fifa to decide one way or another whether it will sanction the transfer of striker Daniel Cousin, 30, to Fulham. The clubs agreed a £3m deal last month but the Gabon international needs special dispensation to move, because he has already played for two clubs this season.
Fifa have left all three parties in limbo. Smith will not field Cousin in case he gets injured, so the player, still under contract with Rangers, is losing match fitness, while Fulham are struggling but do not know whether reinforcements are arriving.
"It becomes awkward to play him because you take the chance of the player becoming injured," Smith said. "If the decision goes against the transfer, then we will have no hesitation in bringing him back and playing him. There is no problem with that."
Cousin's situation will become more urgent next week, because Rangers have a Uefa Cup game against Panathinaikos on Wednesday and will already be without the suspended Jean-Claude Darcheville.
Rangers can re-open a seven-point lead over Celtic at the top of the SPL if they win at home this afternoon against Falkirk, a team they beat 7-2 at Ibrox in their first meeting there this season.
Celtic play tomorrow at Aberdeen. Goalkeeper Artur Boruc is available despite suffering a groin injury in Poland's 2-0 friendly win against the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Barry Robson, Celtic's new £1.25m midfielder from Dundee United, could make his debut.
At his press conference yesterday, Celtic manager Gordon Strachan was asked to address the issue of playing league games overseas – an idea floated six years ago in Scotland, when a private promoter wanted to stage a Celtic-Hearts match in Australia.
Strachan said: "If I had any enthusiasm for it at all, I'd answer your question, but I have absolutely none whatsoever. I haven't given it a second thought to be honest. I'm more worried about my cold."
The Scottish Premier League secretary, Iain Blair, described the English proposals as "interesting and innovative".Reuse content