Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Chelsea won’t appeal Drogba ban

Chelsea will waive a potential appeal and accept the two-match ban imposed on Didier Drogba by Uefa following his dismissal in the Champions League defeat to Internazionale at Stamford Bridge.

The Ivory Coast forward was sent off by Wolfgang Stark, the German referee, for stamping on Thiago Motta’s ankle three minutes from full time as Chelsea slipped out of Europe, a violent conduct offence that carries a two-match suspension. He will miss the opening two group games in next season’s competition, for which the team appear certain to qualify.

Chelsea can challenge the decision within three days of receiving Uefa’s written reasoning, though they will instead accept the punishment as there had been fears the offence would prompt a four-match suspension.

Drogba had been warned as to his future conduct, banned for four games (later reduced to three) with a further two-match ban suspended after being found guilty of making “offensive comments” towards the referee Tom Henning Ovrebo following last season’s semi-final elimination against Barcelona.

European football’s governing body opted against activating that suspended punishment and, instead, extended Drogba’s probationary period by two years to July 2013 as the offence against Motta was deemed to be very different from his outburst against Ovrebo.

“The suspension applies to the next two Uefa club competition matches for which Drogba would be eligible,” a Uefa spokesperson said.

The player has drawn Uefa sanction after Chelsea’s elimination in each of the past three seasons — he was sent off in the 2008 final in Moscow — but insisted his stamp on Motta had been accidental, with Chelsea frustrated as Inter prevailed 3-1 on aggregate in the last-16 tie. “The referee was a bit hard on me for this red card,” Drogba said at the time. “I stepped on his tendon but it was not intentional.” —

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges

Pockets of instability in Kenya are underpinned by unequal development

Stability in Kenya hinges on a just, equitable distribution of resources, and a commitment to progress human development for the marginalised

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…