Drogba will accept European ban for rant at TV camera

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed he will accept any ban Uefa impose for his outburst at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the final whistle of the Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.

Drogba could be banned for up to six games for his explosion of anger, which included shouting "It's a fucking disgrace" into a live TV camera.

The Chelsea striker apologised for his antics and has now accepted that he will be banned. He indicated he would not appeal against Uefa's decision, which is due later this month. Drogba said: "It's not easy but I think that whatever I did and the decision they take, I will accept it because my behaviour was not what Uefa and what everyone wants to see in a football stadium. I will do my suspension and, after that, I will come back stronger."

Drogba has endured a mixed season with Chelsea, in which he was left on the bench by former manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and was also cautioned by police for throwing a coin at supporters during a Carling Cup tie against Burnley. But the Ivory Coast striker ended the campaign on a high, with Chelsea's first goal in Saturday's FA Cup final win over Everton. It was his fourth goal in four appearances at the rebuilt Wembley.

Drogba said: "I can't say that I know that I'm going to score but I prepare myself mentally to try and make the difference, try to have the achievement. When you come here and when you play in front of 90,000 people you want to perform and you want to show that you can play. But I can't explain why I score in these kind of games."

With only one year left on his current deal, Drogba's future at Chelsea is uncertain, especially given the volatile nature of his character. But the 31-year-old insisted he is happy at Stamford Bridge and would like to renew. "People ask me about this. I have one more year here, I'm happy at Chelsea," he said. "I'm not worried about this, I'm not worried about my age or the decision of the club.

"I'm just worried about being happy in my life and at the moment I'm really happy where I am. In football anything can happen and we all know that. At the moment this is where I want to be, I've said it before and I will always say that – but you never know in football."

Midfielder Michael Ballack's contract runs out this summer, but the German said he had agreed terms on a one-year option to extend. "I will be staying. That has been settled for another year," the 32-year-old said.

Ballack welcomed the imminent appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as the new manager, but pleaded for the Italian to be given enough time by owner Roman Abramovich.

Ballack said: "What we really need at Chelsea now is more consistency and for the new manager to be given time to work. I have had four managers in three years here and you need time to adapt to a new coach."

Nicolas Anelka picked up his second FA Cup winners' medal on Saturday, 11 years after scoring for Arsenal in their 2-0 triumph over Newcastle in the final. The French striker scored a hat-trick in the first game after interim manager Guus Hiddink's appointment, a 3-1 win at Watford in the fifth round of the Cup, and ended the season as the top scorer in the Premier League. Understandably he paid fulsome tribute to Hiddink, who is returning to his main job as coach of Russia.

"It was a great way to say goodbye to Guus," Anelka said. "He has had a major influence on the team and the cup was our way to say thank you to him. We will miss him and we hope that maybe in time he will come back. Why not?

"But we know he will now not be with us next season. It could be [Carlo] Ancelotti next, and he would be a good choice, but whoever comes in we will do our best for him and the club.

"We need someone who knows English football, who knows about the English spirit and this club," he added. "We have had several people in charge in a short time. But it is better for the players if the new man has more time, and that he is here for the long term."

On Chelsea's recovery from Everton's early goal, Anelka said: "Maybe it was good that we conceded so early, it made us work harder and wake up. We needed to play as a team to come back after that and we showed that we could do that."