Chelsea footballer accepts libel damages from Daily Mirror

Chelsea soccer star Andriy Shevchenko has accepted substantial libel damages over a claim that he was a "snitch".

The 30-year-old Ukrainian was not at London's High Court for the settlement of his action against MGN Limited.

His solicitor, John Kelly, told Mr Justice Eady that the publication of allegations on four occasions this year had damaged his reputation, distressed him and his family and caused embarrassment for him with his club.

He said that the first article in the Daily Mirror in January claimed that Shevchenko's team mates regarded him as a snitch who was passing details of his dealings with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho back to owner Roman Abramovich.

It also said that the players blamed Shevchenko for the row between the two men and that the team's lack of trust in him was affecting morale.

Although Shevchenko's lawyers complained that the allegations were untrue, the newspaper claimed the next day that he had exacerbated his rift with the Chelsea squad by pleading with Abramovich to replace Mourinho with AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Despite a second complaint, the newspaper claimed two days later that Shevchenko was a "dressing room spy" for Abramovich.

Kelly said that Shevchenko gave press interviews in which he denied the allegations, and was publicly supported by former and current team mates like Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Kaka.

Although the Daily Mirror published an apology, another article appeared in March, which claimed that Shevchenko had given an interview in which he revealed that he had complained about Mourinho, had played for better coaches and would have been happy to have left Chelsea on loan last January.

Kelly said that Shevchenko did not provide any such interview or make the statements falsely attributed to him.

MGN Limited now accepted that the allegations were untrue, apologised and agreed to pay substantial undisclosed damages and Shevchenko's costs.

The newspaper's counsel, James Bunting, said it was accepted that the allegations were without foundation and ought never to have been published.

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