Queiroz questions Drogba go-ahead from FIFA

PORT ELIZABETH - Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz questioned FIFA's decision to let Didier Drogba play for Ivory Coast on Tuesday wearing a cast on his broken arm while others are kept off the pitch for wearing string bracelets.

Drogba, who fractured his forearm just before the tournament, appeared as a 66th minute substitute for the Elephants wearing a FIFA approved plastic cast in the 0-0 draw.

But his appearance did not sit well with Queiroz, who hinted FIFA may have broken their own guidelines in allowing the Chelsea striker to play in Ivory Coast's Group G opener.

"This was bit odd as far as we are concerned because there are rules and regulations," Queiroz told reporters after the match.


"For example sometimes players cannot play with a string bracelet or a plaster and all of a sudden a player has fractured his arm and he could put at risk the Portuguese players with such a situation.

"The solution that was presented at the (FIFA) meeting wasn't perhaps one which we knew about so when it is said the referee's decision is final and then Drogba, an African football star, is to play I'd like to know if all the rules are the same for everybody.

"So if you cannot play with a simple little string bracelet and somebody can play as Drogba did that is perhaps a bit unusual."

A FIFA representative had earlier said the striker would be allowed to wear a protective cast on his right arm if he played, after it was inspected and approved by the match referee and the Portuguese delegation.

"It is not up to Portugal to decide if Drogba should play or not, it depends on FIFA and in the delegate meeting that was held the FIFA delegates decided the referee's decision would be final," shrugged Queiroz.

Despite Queiroz's comments, Drogba is not the first player to appear in a World Cup finals wearing such a protective cast.

England striker Gary Lineker wore one in 1986 in Mexico and finished the top scorer of the tournament and Dutchman Rene van der Kerkhof used one in the 1978 World Cup finalN won by hosts Argentina.

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