UEFA Rules Didier Drogba Was Eligible To Play For Galatasaray In Champions League
Didier Drogba will be allowed to play in Galatasaray's Champions League clash against Schalke after the German club had its objections over his eligibility "thrown out by UEFA on Wednesday," according to the AFP. Schalke, who came away from Istanbul with a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last 16 clash, "believed that the transfer of the former Chelsea striker from Shanghai Shenhua to the Turkish side was completed after the registration deadline." But the European governing body said that the deal "was completed according to the rules." UEFA said, "Having examined all the documents of the case, the Control and Disciplinary Body decided to reject the protest lodged by Schalke" (AFP, 2/28). The BBC reported if the Turkish club had been found guilty of fielding an ineligible player, it "faced going into the return leg" with a 3-0 deficit -- UEFA's standard punishment for the offense (BBC, 2/27). FOXSPORTS wrote Drogba agreed to join Galatasaray on Jan. 28 "after ending his short stay with Shenhua amid claims he had not been paid his salary." Shenhua countered that Drogba was "in breach of his contract and it fell to FIFA to provisionally clear the way for the Ivorian to make his Galatasaray debut" (FOXSPORTS, 2/28).