• Champions League

Schalke raise questions about Drogba

ESPN staff
February 21, 2013
Didier Drogba was in action for Galatasaray against Schalke © Getty Images

Schalke have announced that they are looking into the possibility of an appeal after Didier Drogba was selected for Galatasaray in Wednesday's 1-1 draw in the Champions League.

The club tweeted: "There are doubts about the validity of the permission to play for Drogba in the Champions League. Schalke 04 reserves its rights and is looking into this."

Drogba, 34, joined the Turkish side in January after claiming his contract with Shanghai Shenhua had been terminated as a result of a failure to pay his wages for three months. The Chinese club issued a statement on their website describing themselves as "deeply shocked" by the move.

Last week, FIFA granted Drogba a temporary licence to play for Galatasaray pending the outcome of its investigation into the validity of his contract dispute.

According to Der Westen, Schalke lodged an appeal with UEFA in Nyon within the 24-hour deadline, with general manager Horst Heldt quoted as saying: "It would be reckless not to do it."

Another German newspaper, Die Welt, quotes Schalke finance manager Peter Peters as saying: "Every club has to make sure on their own that their own players have the permission to play."

There has been precedent for the fielding of ineligible players in the Champions League. In 1992, UEFA ordered a replay between Stuttgart and Leeds United on neutral ground after the German side exceeded the number of foreign players permitted in the second leg of their first-round clash. In 2001, Maccabi Haifa were handed a 3-0 defeat after fielding a suspended player during a 4-0 qualification-round victory over Finnish side Haka, which saw the Israeli club exit the competition.

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