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Date: 14 December 2018

  World - Soccer


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Drogba may still play, but Ferdinand out of World Cup

[Posted 05 Jun 2010]
Drogba may still play, but Ferdinand out of World Cup


By Brighton Mupangavanhu & Ezekiel Charika

Didier Drogba's much anticipated participation at the World Cup from the African public hangs in the balance following revelations that he broke a bone close to his elbow in a tussle with Tulio of Japan in an extended friendly yesterday.

Reports emanating from the Ivory Coast camp have sent chilling news across the soccer-crazy continent of Africa, with scans revealing that Drogba may need an emergency operation, just 10 days before his nation's opening match against Portugal on 15 June. But his coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is not prepared to throw in the towel yet on Drogba's prospects to feature at the World Cup for Ivory Coast.

"He may have an operation, but he is not out. He got a bad injury, a bone close to the elbow is broken, but he is going to a specialist and we will take it from there.We will wait until tomorrow evening, we'll see. The doctors they can't say any more than that," Eriksson told BBC Radio 5 live.

Drogba has such a massive following and influence on the continent. In his native Ivory Coast, he has become a cult-figure. Even a beer brand has been named Drogba because of the player's strength and determination on the field of play. The Chelsea star striker finished as the Golden Boot winner in England after scoring 29 Premiership goals and helping his club to its record double. Drogba who is rated as the 3rd best player in the world by the Castro rankings, has scored a massive 44 goals for his country in only 69 appearances. His absence will be a major blow to Ivory Coast and the African continent's wild hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil.

Meanwhile, news from England indicate that Rio Ferdinand's World Cup is now over. The England captain suffered ligament damage to his troubled left knee during the team's training session at the Royal Bafokeng Palace training pitches here in South Africa yesterday morning. BBC Sports News report that even a second medical opinion has not given Ferdinand any hopes of taking part at the World Cup. Ferdinand's loss will give Fabio Capello nightmares of trying to quickly find John Terry's central defence partner.

Michael Dawson has now been recalled to the squad to replace the injured England captain. In the meantime, England has confirmed that Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard automatically takes over the armband. England open their campaign at the World Cup finals against a stubborn USA outfit at the Royal Bafokeng Palace in Rustenburg on 12 June.

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