Drogba denies signing pro-Palestine petition


LONDON (AP) -- Didier Drogba says he wasn't among the footballers to sign a pro-Palestine petition protesting against UEFA's decision to stage the European under-21 championship in Israel next year.

The former Chelsea striker, who now plays for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, was included in the 62 names that were listed on a petition last Friday supporting Palestinian groups, organized by former Tottenham and Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute.

Drogba said Tuesday in a statement that "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."

Drogba says he tries to "work for peace and reconciliation" and "fight against any forms of injustice or discrimination" through his own foundation, created in 2007.