Drogba apologises for referee behaviour

LONDON - Striker Didier Drogba has apologised for his behaviour following Chelsea's dramatic Champions League exit against Barcelona on Wednesday. The Ivory Coast captain harangued Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo after the final whistle and then directed a foul-mouthed rant directly to a live TV camera. He was angry at Ovrebo's refusal to award Chelsea any penalties despite strong appeals on four occasions. "I was very upset at what happened during the game, but having seen the pictures on TV I accept that I overreacted," Drogba said in a statement on Chelsea's website on Thursday. "I also accept that the language I used did not set a good example for those watching at home, especially children," he added on the club's official site. "I regret that in the heat of the moment I let out my incredible frustration and disappointment in this way, and for that I apologise." Drogba, booked after the final whistle, came off in the second half with an injury but showed no signs of the ailment as he confronted the referee and gesticulated at him. CLUB STATEMENT Chelsea also released a club statement saying Drogba's actions were fuelled by frustration after the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw and saw Barca reach the final on away goals. "Chelsea welcomes Didier's statement today which was made honestly and after reflection," the west London club said. "We are all acutely aware of the responsibilities that lie with both the club and its players towards setting a good example as role models. "While it is clear that some of the events last night were regrettable, they occurred only because of the high emotions and frustrations which arose from the disappointment of a controversial defeat in such an important game. "We made representations to UEFA immediately after the game and we await their comments following a review of the match officials' report." Chelsea fullback Jose Bosingwa also said he regretted calling the referee "a thief" and retracted his comments. "We were all very disappointed and frustrated after the game, but I regret describing the referee as a thief. Having had some time to reflect I would like to withdraw those comments," Portugal fullback Bosingwa said in a statement. Tensions were running high at the end of the game after Barca's Andres Iniesta scored in the third minute of stoppage time to level an early goal by Chelsea's Michael Essien. Barcelona advanced to the final against Manchester United in Rome on May 27 on the away goals rule after the first leg ended in a goalless draw in Barcelona last week. NEWS: Iniesta blockbuster breaks Blues hearts PHOTOS: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona NEWS: Away goal heartache haunts Hiddink again   NEWS: Last-gasp goal validates purist approach NEWS: Pep hero status further enshrined at Barca NEWS: Hiddink: Worst refereeing I've seen LA LIGA LOCA BLOG: What's Catalan for 'Have It'? NEWS: Media hails Iniesta and berates Drogba NEWS: United vs Barca hailed as dream final CHELSEA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Kerry Dixon, Guus Hiddink One on One Gianfranco Zola, Nicolas Anelka Boy's A Bit Special  Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair Perfect XI Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly Celebrity fans Vidal Sassoon And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Ruud Gullit on Weekend Wonders and Chelsea on Talentspotter BARCELONA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: Q&A Samuel Eto'o, Cesc Fabregas Web Exclusives Cesc Fabregas, Gary Lineker One on One Mark Hughes, Thierry Henry, Ronaldo Perfect XI Gheorghe Hagi, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman Plus! Rate Barca players (and others) on Talentspotter