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Drogba issues apology for post-match behaviour

Didier Drogba has issued an apology for his behaviour in the wake of Chelsea's devastating Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona. The striker confronted referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after the match and launched a foul-mouthed rant in front of TV cameras. In a statement on the Blues' official website, the Ivorian said: "I was very upset at what happened during the game, but having seen the pictures on TV I accept that I overreacted.

The statement continued: "I also accept that the language I used did not set a good example for those watching at home, especially children.

"I regret that in the heat of the moment I let out my incredible frustration and disappointment in this way, and for that I apologise."

Drogba, who had been substituted in the second half, was shown a yellow card for coming onto the pitch to vent his fury at Ovrebo after the final whistle.

He was incensed at the referee's refusal to award Chelsea four spot-kick claims. The Norwegian official also rejected two handball penalty appeals after the break when Gerard Pique handled as Nicolas Anelka tried to go past him and in the final seconds when Michael Ballack's shot hit Samuel Eto'o's arm.

Chelsea also released a club statement greeting Drogba's apology and claiming his actions were fuelled by frustration.

A club statement read: "Chelsea welcomes Didier's statement today which was made honestly and after reflection.

"We are all acutely aware of the responsibilities that lie with both the club and its players towards setting a good example as role models.

"While it is clear that some of the events last night were regrettable, they occurred only because of the high emotions and frustrations which arose from the disappointment of a controversial defeat in such an important game.

"We made representations to UEFA immediately after the game and we await their comments following a review of the match officials' report."

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