31 Jan 2013

Drogba still a Shanghai player, Chinese club says

6:29 am on 31 January 2013

The Chinese football club Shanghai Shenhua insists Didier Drogba is still their player and has expressed outrage over the former Chelsea striker's move to Turkish top flight leaders Galatasaray.

The club says the move breaches his current contract, which is still valid and the club is deeply shocked by Galatasaray's violation of rules by contacting a player still under contract.

Galatasaray and Drogba himself announced earlier this week that the Ivory Coast star had signed for the Turkish league leaders, apparently ending a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Chinese Super League side.

But Shenhua said in a statement on its website that it plans to appeal to football's international governing body FIFA over the matter and it's collating all the evidence and materials to submit to FIFA so as to protect the club's interests and prevent greater losses.

In a posting on his website, Drogba, who arrived in China last July, gave no clue as to the circumstances surrounding his exit from Shenhua, where he was reportedly earning $360,000 a week.

But Chinese media reported Drogba had previously asked FIFA to nullify his contract after the club defaulted on payments following a shareholder dispute dating back to September.

Drogba's team-mate at both Shanghai and previously Chelsea, French striker Nicolas Anelka, has also just left Shenhua, joining Italian giants Juventus on loan.