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Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 11:02 UK

Uefa 'expects' to punish Drogba

Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba hounded referee Ovrebo after the final whistle

Uefa expects to punish Didier Drogba over the angry scenes which marred Chelsea's Champions League exit.

A decision is not expected until next week, but speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live Uefa general secretary David Taylor said: "We expect to take action."

Striker Drogba has apologised for verbally abusing referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.

Uefa added that the club and midfielder Michael Ballack could face punishment.

Ballack appeared to verbally abuse and shove the referee for refusing to a penalty deep into injury time.

"It wasn't a pleasant sight and it was not the sort of example Uefa want to see," Uefa general secretary David Taylor told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"This just flies in the face of the Respect campaign. We expect to take action, but we have to collect all the evidence before we can do so.

"Uefa is currently examining reports, as well as gathering additional evidence. It will decide which action to take in the course of next week.

"But it could be a number of weeks before a decision on punishment is made."

Drogba and several team-mates surrounded Ovrebo after the final whistle to remonstrate with the Norwegian official over several of his decisions.

Drogba continued his verbal attack even after being booked, and had to be restrained as Ovrebo went down the tunnel.

Taylor calls for Uefa to use video evidence

In a statement issued by the club, the Ivory Coast international, 31, admitted he had overreacted.

"In the heat of the moment I let out my huge frustration and disappointment. For that, I apologise," he said.

"I also fully accept that the language I used did not set a good example for those watching at home, especially children."

Chelsea's main gripe with Overebo, who also controversially sent off Barcelona's Eric Abidal, was the rejection of a number of penalty appeals.

And, while they understood their players were "role models" and called some of the actions "regrettable", they are not expected to take any action against Drogba following his apology.

Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink said: "It's up to me and the board and I don't think Didier will be disciplined because apologising openly is a big step forward. We have to go on."

Phil McNulty

"Uefa has the power to take measures but they have to take into consideration the emotion of the injustice that was felt.

"It's up to them what they do but when people apologise for their behaviour it's the first step towards the normal things in life."

However Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor suggested the Chelsea staff could have done more to defuse the situation.

Chelsea-Barca step too far for Ovrebo - Gallacher

"You could see there were going to be problems at the end of the game and that's why stewards and security should have been very careful to make sure that no-one got near the referee," he said.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallacher said he was surprised by Ovrebo's performance.

He told the BBC: "Of the five key decisions he got three wrong - Drogba was a penalty, shirt pull and trip, and should have been a red card - the trip on Nicolas Anelka wasn't a foul, Abidal is very unlucky. Gerard Pique was the easiest decision of the five, as it was a clear handball.

"This guy is not new - 22 Champions League games is quite a CV - and he's been on the Uefa list since 1994."

Taylor added that the controversy over Ovrebo's performance underlined the need to use video technology.

"It is too much pressure on the referee," he claimed.

"I don't understand why they don't make use of technology to make sure decisions are right. It is used in other sports and used well."

Uefa must take apology into account - Hiddink

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, whose team face Barcelona in the final on 27 May, said Chelsea let their emotions get the better of them on the night.

"It is an emotional game and we have seen that time and time again," he said. "When you have cooled down you think 'I am sorry I did that'. It happens."

Meanwhile, Ovrebo has asked Uefa to hold a news briefing in Norway so he can discuss Wednesday's match. He has also said he is ready to return to refereeing in the Norwegian Premiership next weekend.

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see also
Barca to contest Abidal red card
09 May 09 |  Europe
Drogba rages at ref for Euro exit
07 May 09 |  Europe
Penalty decisions mystify Hiddink
06 May 09 |  Europe
Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona (agg 1-1)
06 May 09 |  Europe
Champions League photos
06 May 09 |  Europe
Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea
28 Apr 09 |  Europe

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