Didier Drogba refused to play for the Montreal Impact on Sunday after learning that he would start the game against Toronto FC on the bench.
Montreal got a 2-2 draw in the Canadian derby and secured a spot in the MLS playoffs, but they had to do it without Drogba who refused to be in the 18-man squad after learning that he would start the game on the bench. The team announced on social media before the game that Drogba’s absence was due to a back problem, but head coach Mauro Biello confirmed after the final whistle that the 38-year-old Ivorian had refused to play.
“Didier was not selected to start the game,” Biello said. “I spoke with him yesterday. He did not accept to come off the bench. In the end he did not want to be in the 18. He said that he did not accept the fact that he was coming off the bench.
“There was tightness in his back, yes, but he was capable of playing. The organisation will have to handle this.”
Drogba has 10 goals in 22 appearances for Montreal this season. He joined the team last summer and scored 11 goals in 11 games during the 2015 MLS season. He posted a congratulatory statement on his Twitter after the point against Toronto.
“Congratulations @impactmontreal! 2nd consecutive year for the playoffs #historique”
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) October 16, 2016