Innocent until proven guilty may be the old adage but it will be interesting to see how Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa defend themselves against UEFA action.
Both have now been charged by the governing body after Chelsea lost their Champions League semi-final to Barcelona.
The disciplinary action claims they insulted the referee and made offensive comments. Chelsea have also been charged with the improper conduct of their players and failing to control supporters who were allegedly involved in missile throwing.
Drogba and Bosingwa were both caught on camera venting their frustration as the final whistle blew on the second leg of the semi-final at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had gone out to a late strike by Andres Iniesta to make it 1-1 and giving Barcelona the edge with their away goal.
What defence can Drogba and Bosingwa possible put forward? Mitigation, yes, but it’s unlikely that either will get away without a very stiff fine or even worse.
What rankles many is why the team itself has to carry the can. Is it really possible for any football manager or the board to control the tempers of their players, especially if it is a first-time incident? Yes, they can give lectures and warnings and hit home the severe repercussions of not behaving but it’s just not possible to put players in straight jackets.
Players should carry the can for their behaviour, on or off the pitch, but leave the club alone. In the same theme, how on earth can a team be responsible for the behaviour of fans? Did they ask them to get involved or to throw missiles at the referee? Do the authorities really expect every club to be accountable for every fan?
On the whole, football supporters are a pretty decent lot but you are always going to get the bad egg whose temper boils over. It’s those fans who should be pinpointed and dealt with very severely. Ban them for life but don’t punish the club.
Meantime, Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been cleared by the FA following allegations about his conduct after the Hull FA Cup tie.
It was claimed that he spat at Hull assistant Brian Horton. An independent commission found there was not enough evidence of improper conduct.
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