Football: Drogba defends Aurier over homophobic furore

Former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba (left) claims compatriot Serge Aurier has been treated unfairly over his ban for abusing coach Laurent Blanc.
Former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba (left) claims compatriot Serge Aurier has been treated unfairly over his ban for abusing coach Laurent Blanc. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba leapt to the defence of suspended compatriot Serge Aurier on Wednesday, claiming the Paris Saint-Germain defender had been treated unfairly over his ban for abusing coach Laurent Blanc.

In a lengthy post on Twitter, the Montreal Impact striker complained that Aurier's treatment for directing homophobic abuse against Blanc amounted to double standards.

Aurier was suspended after being caught on the social media video site Periscope verbally abusing PSG boss Blanc. He also took aim at several team-mates including striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Although Aurier has since apologized for his rant, Drogba said Wednesday he believed the reaction to the Ivory Coast international's comments had been excessive.

"I don't often comment on these things but the way my little brother @serge-aurier has been treated over the past few days has really upset me so I feel the need to say something," Drogba said.

"Yes he made a mistake, yes he said things he should not have said, but we have all made mistakes, players (myself included), coaches, managers, referees, club presidents, even the fans!

"Even the people saying he should be 'put in jail'.... how can young players learn from their mistakes if they are not given the proper support and advice?

"Should we not be educating younger players on how to behave, preparing them for a world where social media can make or break your career?

"Or are we simply pointing the finger and banning some players but not others? Which simply achieves nothing... Bon courage mon frere. #justiceadeuxvitesses'".

Aurier, 23, was suspended by PSG on Sunday, ruling him out of his team's 2-1 win over Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday.

World Cup-winning former France defender Blanc was left seething at the episode, plainly unimpressed by a subsequent apology from Aurier.

"Lots of people in this new generation spend their time apologising. Rather than do that they should think more before they do anything," he said.