The English FA has failed in an attempt to revise the dates of Kieran Trippier's suspension, meaning he could carry on playing for Atletico Madrid throughout his ban.
England defender Trippier was hit with the 10-week suspension last month after he was found guilty of breaching the FA's betting rules.
The 30-year-old had advised a friend by text message to "lump on" his move to Madrid from Tottenham in 2019.
Trippier accepted the punishment but Atletico launched an appeal against the worldwide aspect of the sanction with FIFA, as the FA does not have jurisdiction in Spain.
FIFA, who had initially agreed to the global ban, subsequently lifted it while the appeal is heard.
Even if FIFA throws out the appeal Atletico are expected to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which would no doubt mean a further delay.
Trippier is therefore free to play for the Spanish side and featured in their 2-0 win over Sevilla on Tuesday, thus currently rendering the FA's sanction meaningless.
The FA wanted to revise the effective dates of the ban, which ends on 28 February, but its own independent regulatory commission has dismissed the application.
That means Trippier will be able to play back on English soil when Atletico travel to Chelsea in the Champions League on 17 March, as well as being available for England's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Albania later in the month.
The commission said that an extension to the ban "has the potential to cause significant stress and anxiety to Trippier", while also "impeding his prospects of being transferred to an English club during the current transfer window".
It added: "He was entitled to think until that these long drawn-out proceedings had been finalised and that as from the end of February 2021 he could begin a new chapter."
The FA confirmed: "An independent regulatory commission has dismissed the Football Association's application to revise the effective dates of Kieran Trippier's 10-week suspension in relation to breaches of the FA's betting rules."
Trippier was suspended from all football-related activity for 10 weeks and fined £70,000 on 23 December after he was found guilty of four of the seven charges against him.