Chelsea are ready to lodge an appeal with UEFA today in a bid to reduce the lengthy European bans handed out to striker Didier Drogba and defender Jose Bosingwa.
Drogba was given a six-match ban, the last two games suspended for two years, for his foul-mouthed confrontation with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the end of their Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona in May.
UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body also handed a four-match ban, the last game suspended for two years, to right-back Bosingwa. But the severity of UEFA's punishment has stunned the Blues who are almost certain to launch appeal proceedings this morning.
Chelsea also received a fine of 100,000 euros (Â£85,000) for the improper conduct of their players and for the throwing of missiles by their supporters.
A spokesman for Chelsea said: "We've received the UEFA verdict and we'll now take time to assess it in full and consider our response."
The club were in the process of talking to both players last night and although Drogba said he would abide by any UEFA punishment, it is unlikely the club would want him missing for four of its Champions League group stage games.
The UEFA statement read: "Chelsea FC striker Didier Drogba has been suspended for six UEFA club competition matches - the last two of which are deferred for a probationary period of two years - following incidents at the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against FC Barcelona in London on 6 May. The decision was taken by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body.
"In addition, Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa has been suspended for four UEFA club competition matches, the last of which is deferred for a probationary period of two years, for offences at the same match.
"Drogba and Bosingwa were facing charges of being in breach of the principles of sportsmanship by insulting the referee by making offensive comments. Drogba's suspension applies to the next four UEFA club competition matches for which the player would be eligible, while Bosingwa's suspension applies to the next three UEFA club competition matches for which the player would be eligible.
"Chelsea FC have been fined Â100,000 for the improper conduct of their players and the throwing of missiles by their supporters at the match against Barcelona."
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