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UEFA chokes on Chelsea suspensions

UEFA announced that they have reduced the European bans handed to Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and defender Jose Bosingwa for their conduct in the wake of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final elimination by Barcelona in May.

European football’s governing body has reduced both players’ suspension by one game on appeal. Drogba will now miss the first three of Chelsea’s Champions League games this season and Bosingwa the first two.

A statement on UEFA’s official website read:

“Under the UEFA Appeals Body’s verdicts, Drogba will be suspended for five UEFA club competition matches – the last two of which will be deferred for a probationary period of three years – and has been fined 15,000. Bosingwa will be suspended for three UEFA club competition matches, the last of which is deferred for a probationary period of three years, and fined 10,000.”

Drogba and Bosingwa faced charges of being in breach of the principles of sportsmanship by insulting the referee by making offensive comments.

Drogba launched a foul-mouthed rant at Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after the final whistle of Chelsea’s second-leg against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on May 6. Drogba, who had been substituted in the second half, appeared from the tunnel to confront the referee.

Bosingwa later described Ovrebo as a “thief” in an interview on Portuguese television.