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Footballer Drogba starts for Chinese side

Published on Sep 15, 2012 9:08 PM
Shanghai Shenhua striker Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast kicks a ball during a training session in Shanghai on July 16, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba started for Shanghai Shenhua on Saturday, putting behind him weeks of speculation that he might be on his way out of China because of a boardroom row.

The futures of Drogba and team-mate Nicolas Anelka were put in doubt last month when a Shanghai newspaper claimed that eccentric owner Mr Zhu Jun, who pays the huge wages of the star pair, had threatened to withdraw funding.

The report said that Mr Zhu was upset that he was not given a majority stake as previously agreed when he took over the club in 2007.

The Chinese club remained tight-lipped, with Drogba heading back to England during the recent international break, as speculation mounted that his Chinese adventure might be over after just a handful of games.

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