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Schalke's Drogba protest sends out the wrong message for football

The biggest grudge match of this season's Champions League will be in Gelsenkirchen - providing the tie even goes ahead.

Schalke's protest to UEFA over the eligibility of Didier Drogba could ultimately lead to Galatasaray being kicked out of Europe’s elite club competition. "It would surely be negligent not to get the issue verified," the German club's general manager Horst Heldt said just hours after the first leg finished.

Rules are of course rules, but can it be right that football has reached a stage when clubs feel obliged to call in the lawyers to determine the result of matches?

Last Wednesday, the prematch debates on Galatasaray versus Schalke looked forward to the potential Champions League debuts of Drogba and Wesley Sneijder for the Turkish giants and analyzed whether they could make the difference to one of the toughest ties to call in the round of 16.

Come kickoff, the match itself did not disappoint. Burak Yilmaz scored a stunning opener, but Jermaine Jones equalized for Schalke and both sides squandered a number of chances to seize the advantage going into the second leg in Germany two weeks from now.

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