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Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:13 UK

World Cup 2010: Fifa let Drogba play with cast on arm


Injured Drogba attends training

Didier Drogba has been granted permission by world governing body Fifa to play in the World Cup while wearing a cast to protect his fractured arm.

The Chelsea forward's involvement had been in doubt after suffering the injury in a friendly against Japan on 4 June, but his recovery has gone well.

Fifa said that Tuesday's referee Jorge Larrionda had permitted the cast.

Drogba, 32, came on as a 65th-minute substitute in Ivory Coast's first group G match against Portugal on Tuesday.

Fifa's head of media Nicolas Maingot said: "The cast has been seen by the Portuguese delegation at Monday's match co-ordination meeting."


Accordingly, all parties were satisfied that the cast did not pose a danger to other players - although the Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson decided not to risk him from the start at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

"Everybody knows what Drogba is for Chelsea and for us - he's a great player," said Eriksson ahead of the match.

He added: "[But] we have a lot of good players who are strong and have good technique.

"We're in a difficult group with Portugal, Brazil and North Korea, but the boys are working very hard."

Drogba required surgery after fracturing his arm in Sion, Switzerland, in a collision with Japan defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka - three minutes after the forward had opened the scoring with a 13th-minute deflected free-kick.

Afterwards, Eriksson refused to blame Tanaka for the incident.

"It was unlucky," the 62-year-old former England boss said at the time.

"It wasn't bad or stupid. He didn't want to hurt anyone. Football is a game of contact."

At the 1970 World Cup, Germany defender Franz Beckenbauer wore a sling in the semi-final against Italy having dislocated his shoulder during the match, while England striker Gary Lineker sported a cast to protect a broken wrist during the 1986 competition.

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see also
Drogba feels Ivory Coast pressure
10 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Drogba scores in Ivory Coast draw
30 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Eriksson confirms Ivorian squad
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Drogba's double
17 May 10 |  African
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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