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Nov 18, 2008

Drogba handed three-match ban for coin throwing

Didier Drogba has been given a three-match ban by the Football Association after the Chelsea striker admitted a charge of violent conduct following the Carling Cup match against Burnley last week.

The Ivory Coast international threw an object, believed to be a coin, back into the visiting fans after celebrating Chelsea's opener at Stamford Bridge.

It means the striker will miss the forthcoming games against Newcastle United, Arsenal and Bolton though he will be eligible to face Bordeaux in the Champions League on November 26 as the ban only covers domestic football.

Drogba has been given the same treatment as Liverpool defender Jamie Carrager who was handed the mandatory three-game ban for throwing a coin in an FA Cup tie at Arsenal in 2002.

The form of French striker Nicolas Anelka coupled with Drogba's current lack of fitness and form - his only goal this season came in the game against Burnley - means Chelsea are unlikely to be hit hard by the ruling

The 30-year-old admitted the charge earlier this week and apologised to the Burnley fans after the incident.

The Ivory Coast striker could now be fined two weeks' wages by the club, believed to be around £180,000, after Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck confirmed Drogba knew the club were "not happy''.

"Didier did something he should not have done,'' said Buck. "However, you have to look at the fans. I believe the FA will take a look and find the culprits.

"To his credit, Didier apologised publicly almost immediately after the game.''

An FA statement read: "At a regulatory commission today, Chelsea forward Didier Drogba was given a three match suspension.

"Drogba admitted a charge of violent conduct. The charge related to Drogba throwing a missile into the away section of the crowd after scoring during the League Cup match against Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 12 November.

"Drogba will serve the suspension with immediate effect.''

Hammersmith and Fulham Police continue to liaise with the FA and Chelsea in a bid to track down the fan who initially threw the coin at the striker.

Police are studying CCTV footage from inside Stamford Bridge as well as reviewing Sky TV's coverage of the game. They are also in contact with Lancashire Police but so far no arrests have been made.

Burnley fans were handed leaflets before Saturday's game at Queens Park Rangers asking for any witnesses to come forward.

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