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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Chelsea star wins libel damages
Andriy Shevchenko
The allegations had distressed him and his family
Chelsea footballer Andriy Shevchenko has accepted substantial libel damages over an allegation he was a "snitch".

The 30-year-old striker was not at the High Court for the settlement of his action against MGN Limited, publishers of the Daily Mirror.

It alleged his team mates did not trust him as he was passing details of his dealings with manager Jose Mourinho to the club's owner Roman Abramovich.

MGN accepted the claims were false and should not have been published.

The Ukrainian's solicitor John Kelly, told Mr Justice Eady that the publication of allegations on four occasions this year had damaged his reputation, distressed him and his family and caused embarrassment for him with his club.

Second complaint

He said the first article in the Daily Mirror in January also said the players blamed Shevchenko for the row between the two men and that the team's lack of trust in him was affecting morale.

Although Shevchenko's lawyers complained the allegations were untrue, the newspaper claimed the next day he had exacerbated his rift with the Chelsea squad by pleading with Abramovich to replace Mourinho with AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Despite a further complaint, the newspaper claimed two days later Shevchenko was a "dressing room spy" for Abramovich.

Mr Kelly said Shevchenko gave press interviews in which he denied the allegations, and was publicly supported by former and current team mates like Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

Although the Daily Mirror published an apology, another article appeared in March, which claimed Shevchenko had given an interview in which he revealed he had complained about Mourinho, had played for better coaches and would have been happy to have left Chelsea on loan last January.

Mr Kelly said Shevchenko did not provide any such interview or make the statements to him.

The newspaper's counsel said it was accepted the allegations were without foundation and ought never to have been published.

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