Didier Drogba has been given a three-match suspension after admitting violent conduct in last week's Carling Cup fourth-round tie defeat on penalties at home to Burnley, but the Chelsea striker appears to have escaped a club fine.
Although Drogba had apologised immediately after the match for throwing a coin back among visiting fans, an FA regulatory commission handed down a punishment yesterday identical to that received by Jamie Carragher, the Liverpool defender, who was sent off for a similar offence in a match against Arsenal at Highbury in January 2002.Drogba, the Ivory Coast striker, will miss home matches against Newcastle United and Arsenal and the game away to Bolton Wanderers, but he will be available for the Champions League game against Bordeaux in France next Wednesday. Moreover, Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Chelsea manager, said last week that Drogba was not yet ready to play 90 minutes after recovering from a knee injury, so the extra rest may work in his favour.
“Didier did something he should not have done,” Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman, said. “However, you have to look at the fans. I believe the FA will find the culprits.”
Chelsea and the FA are liaising with police, who are studying CCTV and Sky footage of the match, while Burnley fans back in West London for last Saturday's match against Queens Park Rangers were handed leaflets appealing for witnesses. However, no arrests have been made.