If losing to Barcelona in the last minute was not bad enough, the actions of Chelsea’s players during and after the game has to result in suspensions from UEFA.
First up has to Michael Ballack who was incensed that a penalty was not given in extra time and aggressively chased the referee on the pitch. The TV replays seemed to indicate that Ballack bumped the referee and that should lead to at least a rebuke from UEFA.
In a post-game interview, Chelsea’s Jose Bosingwa reportedly told RTP after the game:
“This referee was bought. I do not know if he is a referee or a thief. There are no words to describe the person that was on the pitch here,”
The Champions League semi-final are showpiece games for UEFA and UEFA President Michel Platini,no fan of the Premier League teams, will be furious that a Chelsea player is calling into doubt the integrity of the referee and the game. If Bosingwa’s comments were taped, then he has to be suspended for these remarks. I would expect the suspension to be a lengthy one, as many as six games, which would mean that Bosingwa would miss the group stages next season.
That brings me to Didier Drogba and his antics after the game. Despite being substituted during the game, Drogba was one of the first Chelsea players to reach the referee at the final whistle, confronting the official, pointing fingers in his face and stating that he was a disgrace.
As of that was not enough, Drogba could be seen screaming into a television camera that the whole scenario was a “f**king disgrace”. UEFA has no choice but to ban Drogba for his antics. Teams play six games in the group stages of the Champions League and then up to seven games in the knockout stages. I expect that Drogba will get at least a six game suspension and would not be surprised if Platini throws the book at Drogba and suspends him from all Champions League games next season.
A suspension like that would really hurt as that would mean that they would need to buy another top forward this summer just to help them in the Champions League. And if he has a one year UEFA suspension, then the transfer value for the 31-year old striker has probably been cut in half.
It was not a good night for Chelsea and I fear that the repercussions of this game will be reverberating around Stamford Bridge for quite a while.