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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chelsea pair charged for referee outburst

GENEVA (AP) UEFA charged Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa with misconduct on Friday for insulting the referee after Chelsea's elimination from the Champions League.

European soccer's governing body also charged the club with failing to control the players as well as fans who threw objects.

Drogba and Bosingwa breached sportsmanship by making offensive comments about Norwegian referee Tom Ovrebo, UEFA said in a statement.

Ovrebo denied several penalty appeals in the 1-1 draw with Barcelona in a semifinal at Stamford Bridge on May 6. Barcelona scored a late equalizer to advance to the final on away goals and will play Manchester United in Rome on Wednesday.

Chelsea said it would respond to UEFA's charges, on behalf of both club and its two players.

"We would like to make clear again, as we did at the time, that the incidents in question were regrettable and occurred only because of the high emotions and frustrations which arose from the disappointment of a controversial defeat in such an important game," the club said in a statement.

"We are all acutely aware of the responsibilities that lie with both the club and its players as regards setting a good example as role models and upholding the principles of fair play in football. Both of the players accept that and apologized very soon afterwards for their actions."

UEFA president Michel Platini, who is independent of the disciplinary committee, said that the biggest issue confronting referees is how to punish "dangerous" players who provoke them on the pitch.

"I can understand the referee, I can understand the players and I will understand very well (the results) of the disciplinary committee," Platini said. "It is not just a problem for today, it is a problem for 40, 50 years. From the moment you think there is a mistake, the players are furious at the referee, the fans are furious at the referee.

"The referee does his job, the players were not happy and the disciplinary committee will do its job."

Chelsea and the two players must file statements to UEFA by May 29.

UEFA's disciplinary panel will hear the cases June 17.

It can ban players from Champions League matches and make Chelsea play behind closed doors.

Drogba approached Ovrebo in a finger-waving outburst, and was pulled away by security staff and Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink while yelling an expletive toward a television camera.



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