- Club president: ‘I’m happy to announced the situation has been resolved’
- Striker refused place on the bench after being dropped from starting XI
terça-feira, 18 de outubro de 2016
Didier Drogba fined but not suspended for Montreal Impact tantrum
Didier Drogba will not be suspended for refusing to accept a place on the substitutes’ bench, Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo said on Tuesday – but he will receive a small fine.
Montreal coach Mauro Biello said Drogba refused to play rather than accept a role from the bench before Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Toronto FC, and the striker was not listed in Biello’s matchday squad.
Saputo confirmed that he called a meeting with Drogba and Biello after the match to clear the air, and said it was all behind them.
“I’m happy to announce that the situation has been resolved to the club’s satisfaction,” he said. “Didier has accepted to assume the role that the coach sees fit as well contributing to the success of this club.”
Under terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, Drogba will be sanctioned for missing a team activity without permission. But the club has not chosen to suspend him for Sunday’s final regular-season game against the New England Revolution. “He will be fined as per the league rules,” Saputo said. “There’s no reason for a suspension.”
Saputo, the wealthy businessman who owns the Canadian dairy firm of the same name, admitted that Drogba’s outburst had not been helpful, but said it was all water under the bridge.
“I don’t think he meant it to be a distraction,” Saputo said. “It was a distraction. But we got through it.
“When he came to Montreal, Didier said that he came here to win, and he still has the same objective. Our main priority now is to focus on the last game of the year and the upcoming playoffs. With the players and leaders we have on this team, we are convinced that we can make a run at the MLS Cup. I still believe in Didier, and I still want Didier to come in and be that hero that he was last year.”
Drogba’s contract expires at the end of the season. He has 10 goals in 22 games this term.