Schalke protest over facing Galatasaray's Didier Drogba in Champions League

Didier Drogba has been with Galatasaray for three weeks since moving from China

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Schalke have launched a protest over the inclusion of Didier Drogba in Wednesday's Champions League clash against Galatsaray.

The German side were in impressive form in Turkey as they battled to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the last-16 European tie.

However, they raised concerns over the eligibility of the former Chelsea striker, who signed for Galatasaray at the end of January after ending his short stay with Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua amid claims he had not been paid his salary.

Shenhua countered that Drogba was in breach of his contract and it fell to FIFA to provisionally clear the way for the Ivorian to make his Galatasaray debut last week.

Drogba signed for Galatasaray at the end of January after ending his short stay with Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua amid claims he had not been paid his salary.

Shenhua countered that Drogba was in breach of his contract and it fell to FIFA to provisionally clear the way for the Ivorian to make his Galatasaray debut last week.

After Schalke contacted UEFA on Thursday demanding clarification, general manager Horst Heldt said in a statement on the club website: "We decided after a thorough legal advice to take this step.

"It is our duty to examine their eligibility to play Drogba."

Drogba agreed to join Galatasaray on 28 January, three days before UEFA's deadline relating to the registration of players for the last 16 of the Champions League.

The contract wrangle with Shenhua meant Drogba did not receive international clearance from FIFA to make his Galatasaray debut until 13 February.

Article 18.18 of UEFA's Champions League regulations states that the 1 February deadline for registering players for the knock-out stage cannot be extended.

Schalke's chief financial officer Peter Peters added: "There is the suspicion that he received his eligibility after the end of the deadline to register the player for the UEFA Champions League.

"Before each game UEFA states that every club has to take responsibility for the players used. It is now up to UEFA to decide and Schalke will respect this process."

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