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Blues appeal 'harsh' bans by UEFA

CHELSEA launched appeals on Monday against what it called UEFA's "unnecessarily harsh" fine and the bans given to Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa following the heated Champions League semifinal against Barcelona.

European football's governing body fined Chelsea 100,000 euros (US$138,000) for failing to control the players as well as fans who threw objects on to the pitch, and punished Drogba and Bosingwa over their conduct toward Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo.

"We believe these punishments are unnecessarily harsh given the circumstances," Chelsea said. "We would reiterate that the players and the club are acutely aware of our responsibilities towards setting a good example as role models and upholding the values of the game. That is why honest and sincere apologies were made swiftly after these regrettable incidents occurred."

Ovrebo denied several penalty appeals in May's 1-1 draw with Barcelona, which advanced on away goals and won the competition.

Drogba was given a six-match ban, the last two games suspended for two years, for the striker's finger-waving confrontation with Ovrebo after being eliminated by Barcelona. He yelled an expletive toward a television camera.

For branding the referee a "thief" in an interview defender Bosingwa was handed a four-match ban, the last game suspended for two years.


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