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China Daily Website

Shenhua to file appeal against Drogba

Updated: 2013-02-18 17:56
By Wang Zhenghua in Shanghai ( chinadaily.com.cn)

Shanghai Shenhua is ready to file counter charge to world soccer's governing body, FIFA, against estranged player Didier Drogba and is "99 percent sure" it will win the dispute.

According to Shanghai Youth Daily, the club has hired two top-level international law firms and will deliver their submissions to FIFA on Wednesday against the Cote d'Ivoire forward who walked out on the club to sign with Turkish giant Galatasaray.

"Shenhua will deliver the material to defend itself on Feb 20. And, on the same day, Shenhua will also send related documents for a counter charge against Drogba and the Turkish club Galatasaray," the newspaper quoted an unidentified member of Shenhua's law team as saying on Monday.

"The proof we hold now can assure Shenhua a 99-percent likelihood of winning the dispute," the member said. "What Shenhua aims to gain is not the penalty related to the breach of contract, but to defend its dignity, something highly related to the face of Chinese soccer."

Embroiled in a pay squabble with Shenhua, Drogba, who signed a 2 1/2-year contract with the Chinese club that would have expired at the end of next year, signed a 1 1/2-year contract with Galatasaray late last month.

But fighting accusations Drogba was owed three months of salary, Shenhua said it will present proof to show Drogba was well informed that he would be paid later than scheduled and for only two months and that he had accepted the proposal.

According to the terms of his contract, Drogba was to be paid on the 28th every month, the player's representatives said. But because of China's foreign exchange rules, Shenhua was in arrears for two months - one for three days and the other for five.

The club said it sent a written explanation to Drogba on both occasions and he had signed the documents.

On Monday, the Shanghai Youth Daily also quoted an unidentified insider of Shenhua who said Drogba's team of lawyers had trumped up the charge of wage defaults to legitimize his departure from the Chinese Super League.

"Shenhua understands Drogba's difficulty in adapting to the CSL and his aspirations to go back to European leagues," the insider said.

However, the club is indignant because Drogba's law team has threatened the club over the salary issue and filed a suit to FIFA.

Shenhua is determined to respond to the suit and is also expected to accuse Galatasaray of poaching contracted player.

The Turkish soccer federation and Galatasaray said last week that Drogba had been given the go-ahead to play for Galatasaray. The China soccer federation said it is yet to receive any notification from FIFA.

Related stories:

Shenhua brands Drogba's Galatasaray move 'rule breaching'

Shanghai fans not surprised at Drogba and Anelka departure

Shenhua may appeal Drogba's departure

Drogba eyes more Champions League glory at Galatasaray

FIFA reject Drogba's special loan request


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