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Nov 13, 2008

Cops probing Drogba coin-throwing incident

London's Metropolitan Police has confirmed it is investigating Wednesday's incident at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea striker Didier Drogba threw an object, believed to be a coin, back at Burnley fans during a Carling Cup tie.

The striker will also face an FA charge, as confirmed from Soho Square just moments after the police announced their investigation. An apology issued straight after the match may not be enough to save the 30-year-old from punishment.

Drogba was prevented from celebrating his first goal of the season in the 27th minute by a coin, thrown on to the pitch by away supporters. And Drogba, who also appeared to gesture to the away fans, threw the coin back into the crowd.

The Ivorian was shown the yellow card for his actions but was contrite in his post-match interview. He said: "This is something I want to make clear. I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me.

"The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt, I just want to apologise for it. This is not something I should show in a football match and I want to apologise.

"It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it. It was just a mistake and nothing more."

Drogba had put Chelsea ahead in their Carling Cup fourth-round tie against the Championship side with a superb curling effort into the bottom corner. A shock equaliser 20 minutes from time through Burnley's veteran striker Ade Akinbiyi stunned last season's Champions League finalists.

Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen saved in a penalty shoot-out from Wayne Bridge and John Mikel Obi to send Chelsea crashing out of the competition.

Chelsea chose to await referee Keith Stroud's report before commenting further but Burnley manager Owen Coyle and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari both denied seeing the incident.

Scolari said: "I have not spoken with Didier about any problem. The referee gave him a yellow card but I did not see what happened."

In 2002, Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was sent off in an FA Cup tie against Arsenal at Highbury after throwing a coin back into the crowd. He received a mandatory three-match ban.

He was also interviewed by police but no further action was taken other than a verbal warning. However, Carragher was fined by the club and warned as to his future conduct.

In a statement Burnley said: "[We are] proud of the 6,100 supporters who made the trip to Stamford Bridge and offered magnificent vocal backing.

''However, the club does not condone any misbehaviour from supporters and we will gladly co-operate with any inquiry into the incident, either from the FA or Chelsea Football Club. [But] we do not believe this matter should detract from one of the club's most memorable nights in recent times.''

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