Didier Drogba: I did not sign Uefa Israel boycott statement

By Jennifer Lipman, December 4, 2012
Didier Drogba (Photo: AP)

Didier Drogba (Photo: AP)

Former Chelsea player Didier Drogba has denied signing his name to a statement urging Uefa to stop Israel from hosting the European Under 21 championship next year.

The Ivory Coast captain, who now plays for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, took to Twitter to clear himself of any involvement in the boycott call.

A statement claiming the backing of 62 players from around the world was circulated on the personal website of Beijing Guoan player Frédéric Kanouté at the weekend.

It urged Uefa to reconsider its decision to ask Israel to host the tournament next June, in the wake of the Gaza conflict.

But writing in French on his Twitter page, he said: "Please note I did not sign this petition or give my support to this initiative. I have never got involved in any conflicts, even in my own country."

He added: "I have always tried to work for peace and reconciliation but also to fight against any forms of injustice or discrimination."

Newcastle player Yohan Cabaye also stated that he had not give his support for the statement, writing on his website that he had simply expressed his "sadness and compassion" over the situation when asked by a teammate.

"Yohan Cabaye has never desired any way whatsoever to give a political message in this action," he said.

Last updated: 4:50pm, December 4 2012