Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Coin earns Drogba three-match ban

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba is out of Chelsea's top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal after the Football Association today handed the striker a three-match ban for violent conduct.

Drogba had already apologised for throwing a coin back at Burnley fans as he celebrated scoring Chelsea's opening goal in the Carling Cup fourth-round tie at Stamford Bridge.

But the Ivorian, who also admitted the charge, was given a three-game suspension by an FA Regulatory Commission.

It puts Drogba out of Saturday's clash with Newcastle at Stamford Bridge and their following home game against title rivals Arsenal. His ban will be completed when Chelsea travel to Bolton on December 6.

However, Drogba will be able to play in the club's Champions League Group A game against Bordeaux next Wednesday.

The Ivory Coast striker could now be fined two weeks' wages by the club, believed to be around £180,000, after Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck confirmed Drogba knew the club were "not happy".

Buck had earlier expressed hope that the FA would show Drogba some leniency, especially after the player issued a post-match apology for his actions.

"Didier did something he should not have done," said Buck. "However, you have to look at the fans. I believe the FA will take a look and find the culprits.

"To his credit, Didier apologised publicly almost immediately after the game."

Hammersmith and Fulham Police continue to liaise with the FA and Chelsea in a bid to track down the fan who initially threw the coin at the striker.

Police are studying CCTV footage from inside Stamford Bridge as well as reviewing Sky TV's coverage of the game. They are also in contact with Lancashire Police but so far no arrests have been made.

Burnley fans were handed leaflets before Saturday's game at Queens Park Rangers asking for any witnesses to come forward.

Meanwhile, Chelsea's latest England star, 20-year-old defender Michael Mancienne, has been told he has a first-team future at Stamford Bridge.

Mancienne, who is in England's squad to face Germany tomorrow, had recently hinted he might have to quit the club in order to gain regular first-team football.

He is currently on loan at Wolves having spent much of the previous two seasons at QPR.

But Buck said: "He is a very good young player and we look forward to him at some point making it into the first team.

"Unfortunately, we have lots of good players who play in the same position so in the last couple of years we've sent him out on loan to gain experience."

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