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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Uefa hand Chelsea’s Didier Drogba two-match Europe ban


Uefa has banned Didier Drogba for two European matches following his sending off in Chelsea’s Champions League loss to Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge.

The striker was shown a straight red card for a stamp on Thiago Motta in the 87th minute of the last 16, second-leg 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Uefa also extended Drogba’s period of probation by two years until July 2013.

He was warned about his future conduct after last season’s Champions League semi-final defeat by Barcelona.

The Ivory Coast international was reprimanded by European football’s governing body for “offensive comments” made towards Danish referee Tom Henning Ovrebo directly after the 1-1 draw, when the Catalan giants scored an injury-time equaliser which eliminated the Blues from the competition in May last year.

Although Drogba’s initial four-match ban was reduced to three on appeal two months later, a two-match suspended ban was still in place.

However, Uefa opted against imposing a further two-game suspension but instead extend his period of probation by a further 24 months.

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

Drogba insisted his stamp on Brazilian midfielder Motta was accidental, but referee Wolfgang Stark thought otherwise.

“The referee was a bit hard on me for this red card,” Drogba said after the match.

“I stepped on his tendon, but it was not intentional and I was more focused on the cross and the ball. I’m going to try to make it better. All have been unhappy endings, so I hope next season the Champions League will be mine.”

The 32-year-old has three days to launch an appeal.

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