NYON, July 16 – European football's governing body UEFA on Wednesday agreed to reduce bans handed down to Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and defender Jose Bosingwa for their angry outbursts which followed the club's Champions League exit to Barcelona in May.
Drogba was originally given a fixed four-match ban and Bosingwa a three-match ban after they made controversial comments following Chelsea’s 1-1 second leg semi-final draw with eventual champions Barcelona at Stamford Bridge.
UEFA decided to reduce both players’ suspension by one game after Chelsea appealed.
A UEFA statement on the body’s website read: "Under the UEFA Appeals Body’s verdicts, Drogba will be suspended for five UEFA club competition matches – the last two of which will be deferred for a probationary period of three years – and (he) has been fined 15,000 euros.
"Bosingwa will be suspended for three UEFA club competition matches, the last of which is deferred for a probationary period of three years, and fined 10,000 euros."
UEFA’s initial fine of 100,000 euros for the improper conduct of their players and the throwing of missiles by their fans stands, however.
In full earshot of the television cameras Drogba ranted at Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after Chelsea conceded a last-gasp equaliser to exit the tournament on away goals.
The Blues also felt that Ovrebo should have awarded them several penalties.
Bosingwa then described Ovrebo as a "thief" in an interview on Portuguese television.
Both players later apologised and Bosingwa withdrew his comments.
Chelsea appealed the bans in the belief that the punishments "were unnecessarily harsh given the circumstances."