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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Drogba banned for three matches

Didier Drogba
Drogba threw the coin back into a section of Burnley supporters

Chelsea's Didier Drogba has been banned for three matches for throwing a coin into a section of Burnley fans during their shock Carling Cup defeat.

Drogba threw the coin after scoring in last Wednesday's game at Stamford Bridge and admitted a Football Association charge of violent conduct.

An FA regulatory commission heard the case on Tuesday, looking at video evidence and written submissions.

The 30-year-old striker's suspension takes effect immediately.

The ban brings further disruption to a season that has seen the Ivory Coast international make just five league appearances due to a knee injury, and he will now miss games against Newcastle, Arsenal and Bolton.


Drogba is also facing a police investigation into the incident, with the Metropolitan Police confirming last Thursday that officers were looking into it.

The FA has also written to both Chelsea and Burnley to request information on a number of missiles thrown at Chelsea players from the Burnley section.

An FA spokesman said: "Players should be able to play football without fearing for their personal safety.

"It is totally unacceptable for players to be put in danger by supporters throwing missiles onto the pitch.

Appearances: 146
Goals: 81

Drogba in trouble:
Nov 2008: Faces police and FA investigation for throwing coin at Burnley supporters
May 2008: Red carded in Champions League final after slapping Man Utd defender Nemanja Vidic
Sep 2007: Sent off in a Premier League match against Fulham
Feb 2005: Dismissed against Barcelona at the Nou Camp
"The priority now is to work with the clubs and the police to identify the individuals involved.

"The FA wants anyone found guilty of throwing missiles to face the strongest possible action. That includes life bans from attending football matches."

Drogba made a single-finger gesture before throwing the coin back following his 27th-minute goal, but there have been no reports of any spectators being injured.

Referee Keith Stroud told the FA he had booked Drogba for going towards the opposition supporters to celebrate, but had not seen him throw the coin.

The Ivory Coast striker issued an immediate post-match apology.

Jamie Carragher was handed a three-match ban when he was red-carded for a similar offence in 2002.

Carragher was also interviewed by police but no further action was taken. However, he was fined by Liverpool and warned about his future conduct.

"There are two sides to it," said Chelsea midfielder Lampard. "Didier's come out and there's been a reaction, a human reaction I have to say, which Jamie Carragher made once.

Burnley will investigate coin incident - Coyle

"I was around Didier at the time and I don't know how many coins there were around.

"I take quite a lot of corners and it's not unusual to get things thrown at you and lots of abuse, too, and I think it's got to a stage now where it's got to stop.

"We've seen referees getting hit, too, so I think people have to take responsibility as a group."

Chelsea issued a statement in response to the FA charge, admitting Drogba's actions had been "inexcusable" and promising full co-operation with the FA and the Metropolitan Police.

"We welcome Burnley's assistance in trying to help identify the small minority of their support who spoiled a great occasion for their club," read the Chelsea statement.

"Although Didier Drogba was hit by an object, that does not excuse his subsequent actions.

"He also recognises that, has not sought to justify it that way, has sincerely expressed his regret and has apologised for the incident.

"The matter will be dealt with internally by the club after the FA and police processes are completed."

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see also
Scolari backs Drogba in coin row
15 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Chelsea 1-1 Burnley (aet)
12 Nov 08 |  League Cup
Carragher escapes FA charge
30 Jan 02 |  FA Cup
Carling Cup as it happened
12 Nov 08 |  League Cup
Carling Cup football photos
12 Nov 08 |  Football

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES No Excuses For Drogba - 13 hrs ago
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