Drogba denies signing Palestine petition
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has rejected reports that he pledged his support to Palestine during their ongoing conflict with Israel.
A statement released via the personal website of former Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute read: "We, as European football players, express our solidarity with the people of Gaza who are living under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom."
Drogba was reported to be one of the 62 players involved, but the striker, who is now plying his trade in China with Shanghai Shenhua, denied signing the petition.
"My name was on a list of signatories of a petition supporting Palestine," Drogba said in a statement. "Please note: I did not sign this petition or give my support to this initiative, because I have never got involved in any conflicts, even in my own country, the Ivory Coast.
"I have always tried to work for peace and reconciliation but also to fight against any forms of injustice or discrimination, which is what I try to do with my foundation."
The petition saw dozens of other stars from across the globe, including Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye and Paris Saint-Germain's Jeremy Menez, give their support to a claim that two footballers - Omar Rowis, 23, and Mohammed Nemer, 22 - have been detained in Israel without charge or trial.
It was also calling for UEFA to stop Israel from hosting the European Under-21 Championship next year.