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Football: Drogba gets Euro clearance, Lazio fined

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Didier Drogba will be allowed to play in Galatasaray's Champions League clash against Schalke after the German club had their objections over his eligibility thrown out by UEFA on Wednesday.

Schalke, who came away from Istanbul with a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last 16 clash, believed that the transfer of the former Chelsea striker from Shanghai Shenhua to the Turkish side was completed after the registration deadline.

But the European governing body said that the deal was completed according to the rules.

"Having examined all the documents of the case, the Control and Disciplinary Body decided to reject the protest lodged by Schalke," said a UEFA statement.

The second leg of the tie takes place in Germany on March 12.

Lazio were fined 40,000 euros and ordered to play their next two home games in Europe behind closed doors after their fans were accused of throwing fireworks and displaying racist behaviour in their Europa League against Borussia Moenchengladbach on February 21.

The Italians will play Stuttgart on March 14 behind closed doors as well as their next home tie.

Lazio were fined 140,000 euros in January after their Europa League group clashes against Tottenham and Maribor were marred by racist chanting.

Lazio were slapped with a 90,000-euro sanction after some sections of the Rome club's fans brandished a banner reading "Free Palestine" at the November 22 game against Tottenham in Rome which finished 0-0.

Others sang "Juden Tottenham" ("Tottenham Jews" in German) at the visiting fans, whose club has a historical Jewish connection.

Lazio had previously been fined 40,200 euros after monkey chants were directed at Tottenham players during the reverse fixture in London in September.

The Italians also received a suspended one-match stadium ban and a 50,000-euro fine for their supporters' racist conduct in the group stage game against Maribor in Slovenia in December.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was banned for two European matches after being sent off in the dying moments his team's Champions League 2-1 win at Valencia.

The big Swede will miss the second leg on March 6 as well as the first leg of the quarter-final should PSG qualify.

Turkish side Fenerbahce must play their next Europa League home clash against Victoria Plzen on March 14 behind closed doors after their fans were charged with setting off and throwing fireworks in the match against Bate Borisov.

"The Turkish team are also excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which they would qualify -- this sanction is deferred for a probationary period of two years. Fenerbahce have also been fined 60,000 euros," said UEFA.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130227/football-drogba-gets-euro-clearance-lazio-fined