Drogba cleared for opener


PORT ELIZABETH, June 15 – Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba has been given the all clear to wear a support to protect his broken arm in the Group G fixture against Portugal here on Tuesday.The green light from FIFA paves the way for the 32-year-old Chelsea star to line up at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium although an official team announcement concerning his participation has still to be made.

FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said: "The Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda has authorised Didier Drogba to play with his protection. The Portuguese delegation also inspected his (arm) support at the pre-match coordination meeting."

Drogba has made a remarkable recovery from the right arm fracture he sustained in a warm-up against Japan on June 4. He underwent surgery on the injury the next day.

On Monday Ivory coast manager Sven Goran Eriksson said he would leave a decision on Drogba until the last moment.

Drogba – who is at his second World Cup finals – trained normally with the rest of his teammates at the Port Elizabeth venue on Monday evening.