Guus Hiddink has revealed Didier Drogba is unlikely to be disciplined by Chelsea for his controversial behaviour in the wake of Wednesday's Champions League exit.
Drogba has apologised for confronting referee Tom Henning Ovrebo following the 1-1 draw with Barcelona and launching a foul-mouthed rant in front of TV cameras.
UEFA have confirmed they will make a decision next week whether to punish Chelsea's players - namely Drogba and Michael Ballack - for their actions both during and after the tie.
But the club will not sanction the Ivorian with Hiddink appealing to UEFA to take the emotion of the occasion into account where they consider the case.
"It's up to me and the board and I don't think Didier will be disciplined because apologising openly is a big step forward. We have to go on," he said.
"Didier has apologised for his over-reaction on TV which was not good. We talked about it and he mustn't react as he did.
"It came out of the frustration at the manner of our elimination and that we weren't awarded the penalty kicks.
"From that emotion comes an over-reaction for which the player has apologised.
"UEFA have the power to take measures but they have to take into consideration the emotion of the injustice that was felt.
"It's up to them what they do but when people apologise for their behaviour it's the first step towards the normal things in life."
Reports have emerged Drogba's days at Stamford Bride are numbered following the furore but Hiddink refused to deny or confirm the speculation.
"I don't think (what happened) is an influence (on Drogba's future). It's not up to me," he said.
Hiddink spoke to owner Roman Abramovich about the match, which saw Chelsea knocked out on the away goal rule, but Drogba's outburst were not discussed.
"He said Chelsea performed very well and I agreed," he said.
"We should be proud of the way Chelsea played at home against the best team in the world.
"He didn't say anything to me about what happened after the match."
Ovrebo is reported to have been smuggled out of the UK under police guard and to have received death threats for his performance at Stamford Bridge.
But Hiddink condemned any victimisation of the Norwegian official and refused to criticise the decision to place him in charge of the match.
"Personally and as a club we reject everything that can damage the man in terms of direct threats. There can be zero tolerance to that," he said.
"There is the emotion of the game then it must be over. I haven't tried to speak to the referee - that's impossible.
"We have to think about using our best referees. Sometimes there is a tendency to use referees who are not in a tough competition every weekend.
"But in his defence he has refereed other Champions League games and this was not his first one.
"There was no intention from the referee's side. He was neutral and referees don't have pre-set minds.
"Making errors with big consequences for Chelsea as he did was not his intention."
Chelsea must pick themselves up in time for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal with Hiddink urging his players to prove their character.
"We must be strong. The players must put what happened behind them and be very energetic," he said.