Shenhua brands Drogba's Galatasaray move 'rule breaching'
Updated: 2013-01-31 14:36
BEIJING - Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua Wednesday rejected Didier Drogba's move to Turkish side Galatasaray and labeled it as "rule breaching".
Galatasaray Tuesday confirmed on their website that they reached a deal to sign former Chelsea striker Drogba, which drew Shenhua's objection.
Cote d'Ivoire's Didier Drogba moves with the ball during their African Nations Cup (AFCON 2013) Group D soccer match against Algeria in Rustenburg, Jan 30, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
"Shanghai Shenhua club only knew about Drogba's move to Galatasaray from the Turkish club's official website on Tuesday. Shenhua has been stunned by Galatasaray's rule breaching by contacting a player under contract," said Shenhua.
Shenhua's contract with Drogba will run until 2014. The Cote d'Ivoire international scored eight goals in 11 appearances in the Chinese top soccer league.
"We understand Drogba's eagerness to play in the European Champions League, But Shenhua signed a two and a half years deal with Drogba on July 1, 2012 and has been fulfilling the club's responsibility and obligation," it said.
"So Drogba is still a Shanghai Shenhua player. Our contract is still valid," Shenhua said.
The club said it was collecting evidence before it submits the case to FIFA, who last year denied a request from Drogba to be loaned back to Europe, saying it was against international transfer rules.
The Turkish side, however, claimed Drgoba was free to move anywhere.
"Drogba hadn't been paid in three months in China, he had a clause giving him the right to terminate his contract in the case of non-payment of wages," Galatasaray football agent Ceylan Caliskan was quoted by Turkish-football.com. "We signed Drogba on a free contract, we didn't sign him from Shanghai Shenhua."
Whereas Xinmin Evening, a newspaper based in Shanghai, reported that Shenhua "stressed that they never fell behind in paying Drogba."
The 34-year-old Drogba, currently playing for his country Cote d'Ivoire at the Africa Cup of Nations, has said via his representatives on Twitter, "I am looking forward to playing in the Champions League again." following his signing of the 18-month deal.
Galatasaray are through to the last 16 of the competition, where they face German side FC Schalke 04.
"The opportunity to play for this great club was an offer that I could not turn down," added Drogba.
Drogba was the second big name who walked out on the Chinese Super Leauge which lost French international Nicolas Anelka a couple of days ago.
Anelka already arrived in Turin and was scheduled to undergo medical tests before signing a five-month contract believed to be worth 1.2 million euros ($1.6 million).
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