Platini - Drogba has learned

03 November 2009 12:21
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Uefa president Michel Platini believes Chelsea striker Didier Drogba will have learned the lessons of his three-game European ban.

The Ivory Coast international is expected to be back in action for Carlo Ancelotti's side when they look to secure their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with victory away to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.

Drogba was handed the suspension by European football's governing body following his foul-mouthed rant at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the final whistle of their controversial semi-final defeat to Barcelona last term.

Chelsea have coped well in Drogba's absence and have a 100 per cent record from their opening three Group D fixtures, with Platini believing that the powerful forward will be even more dangerous on his return.

Alone"What I saw on TV was the comportment of Didier," said Platini. "All the TV showed the insult of Drogba, not the decisions.

"I was like Drogba in the past when I saw an injustice as a player. But I don't know Drogba's mind.

"He took the decision that he felt was right for him. He was alone in thinking that.

"Drogba's a good guy. I know him very well. He understands now that he made a mistake. Everybody does. He will come back better, stronger."

Platini also stressed he is not involved in the process of refereeing appointments and claims he still does not know Ovrebo's identity.

"When I arrive at a stadium, I don't know the name of the referee," said Platini.

"That's the decision of the independent committee of referees. I was not there at Chelsea. I didn't know the name of the referee and I still don't.

"I don't know whether the referee made a mistake or not. If it was a mistake, I will say 'it's not a mistake' because I have to defend the referees."

RespectSome paranoid Chelsea fans accused Uefa of a conspiracy against them, alleging that Platini wanted Barcelona to reach the final against Manchester United to prevent another all-Premier League showdown with the Blues.

"Do you think I am so stupid as to ask a referee to make Chelsea not get to the final?" said Platini.

"I always respect all the players and clubs. I don't interfere. If two English teams are in the final, I have no problem. If it's two Spanish teams, no problem. It's better if not two from the same country but it's not my problem.

"If they get there, they deserve to be there. It is not because I like Barcelona's system (of fan ownership) that I exempt them to go to the final!"

Source: SKY_Sports