Drogba in six-game ban

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The Independent Football

Chelsea were today considering their response to UEFA's decision to hand lengthy European bans to Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa and fine the club £85,000 following their controversial Champions League exit to Barcelona.

Ivorian striker Drogba was given a six-match ban - the last two suspended for two years - for his foul-mouthed confrontation with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the end of their Champions League semi-final defeat by Barcelona in May.

UEFA's control and disciplinary body also handed a four-match ban - the last game suspended for two years - to right-back Jose Bosingwa.

The Portugal defender labelled Ovrebo a "thief" after the same game, while the club received a fine of £85,000 for the improper conduct of their players and for the throwing of missiles by their supporters.

A spokesman for Chelsea said: "We are considering our response."

Chelsea and both players have three days in which to launch an appeal and Chelsea have indicated they are likely to respond to the verdicts either later tonight or tomorrow.

The UEFA statement read: "Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has been suspended for six UEFA club competition matches - the last two of which are deferred for a probationary period of two years - following incidents at the Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona in London on May 6. The decision was taken today by the UEFA control and disciplinary body.

"In addition, Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa has been suspended for four UEFA club competition matches, the last of which is deferred for a probationary period of two years, for offences at the same match.

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

"Drogba's suspension applies to the next four UEFA club competition matches for which the player would be eligible, while Bosingwa's suspension applies to the next three UEFA club competition matches for which the player would be eligible.

"Chelsea FC have been fined 100,000 euros for the improper conduct of their players and the throwing of missiles by their supporters at the match against Barcelona, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

"Either the club or the players may appeal against the decision within three days of the despatch of the reasoned decision."

Referee Ovrebo was at the centre of controversy after rejecting four Chelsea penalty appeals during the second leg of the semi-final.

Chelsea were leading through Michael Essien's early strike but Andreas Iniesta's late away goal gave Barca a place in the final, where they beat Manchester United to win the trophy.

Drogba's foul-mouthed rant at the official was seen by millions of television viewers. The Ivorian stunned the worldwide audience by shouting: "It's a f****** disgrace" straight at the cameras. He later apologised for his behaviour.

The ban will rule him out of most of the club's Champions League group stage next season.

Bosingwa was banned for labelling Ovrebo a "thief" in an interview - words he later retracted. But he too will miss a large chunk of Chelsea's Champions League group stage unless the club can get the suspensions reduced on appeal.