Uefa reduce Drogba ban
Blues striker sees Euro suspension eased on appeal
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: July 15, 2009 5:47pm
Drogba: Ref rant
Uefa have reduced Chelsea striker Didier Drogba's European ban from four matches to three.
The Ivorian hit-man was handed the suspension in the wake of his foul-mouthed tirade at the match officials following the Blues' UEFA Champions League exit against Barcelona last season.
He has, however, now seen his punishment eased after pleading his case to a Uefa appeals panel on Wednesday.
The hearing, held behind closed doors, agreed to shorten the initial ban but has kept a suspended two game suspension in place.
Drogba attended the appeal alongside Chelsea team-mate Jose Bosingwa, who was also reprimanded for his actions against Barca.
The Portuguese full-back was handed a three-match ban for making offensive comments about Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, but will now miss only two games.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have also confirmed that they have extended their sponsorship deal with Samsung until the summer of 2013.
The electronics giants have been the club's official sponsor since 2005 and both parties are delighted to have prolonged their association.
"Our relationship is far more meaningful than a conventional sports sponsorship arrangement," Chelsea's chief executive Peter Kenyon told the club's official website.
"While this renewal represents excellent value for Chelsea it is more than that - it is a true partnership between two organisations who are both highly successful on the global stage and whose strengths and ambitions complement each other perfectly.
"The renewal of our partnership is a significant step forward on the original deal, and we are pleased to deliver additional rights for Samsung to use in key areas of their business.
"We very much welcome the continued partnership and anticipate mutual success from the deepening and broadening of our relationship.
"More generally it reaffirms Chelsea's position in the business and sponsorship market as one of the market leaders in football and demonstrates that investment at this time is key to growth."