Drogba back as salary row rumbles

Drogba back as salary row rumbles

SHANGHAI - Agence France Presse
Drogba back as salary row rumbles

Didier Drogba is the highest-profile player in the Chinese league. AP photo

Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba was set to return from international duty yesterday and into a row at his Shanghai Shenhua squad that has seen teammates reportedly refuse to practise over unpaid wages.

According to the Chinese media, Shenhua players protested on Oct. 15 over the pay dispute, turning up late for practice at the club’s training ground and taking a leisurely stroll around a running track. Media reports have said payments to some players were skipped.

However, the team will play its next game on Oct. 20 as scheduled, club officials said yesterday, in comments suggesting the dispute had been laid to rest.

Training had returned to normal after the one-day protest, a club official told AFP, declining further comment.

Drogba returns after scoring twice in Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal on Oct. 13 that had to be abandoned in the second half because of rioting fans.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Football Association told AFP that a scheduled match between ninth-placed Shenhua and Changchun Yatai, who are two places higher, would kick off as scheduled on Oct. 20.