Dindane reveals Cup plea
Portsmouth's Aruna Dindane says he made a special trip to France to ensure he could play in the FA Cup final.
Last Updated: 15/05/10 3:26pm
Portsmouth striker Aruna Dindane has revealed he made a special trip to France to ensure he was allowed to play in Saturday's FA Cup final.
The 29-year-old, on a season-long loan from Lens, was in doubt for the Wembley showdown against Chelsea due to a cash dispute between Pompey and his parent club.
His contract at Fratton Park allowed him to play just 22 matches before Lens were entitled to a £4million transfer fee.
Financially-stricken Pompey could not afford it after going into administration, and as the stand-off continued Dindane took matters into his own hands.
The striker made a flying visit to France to plead with Lens chairman Gervais Martel, and after reaching an agreement he will now take on fellow Ivory Coast players Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou in his last game for Pompey.
"I went to speak to my chairman in Lens and told him I wanted to continue playing for Portsmouth," Dindane told the Daily Star.
"I asked him personally if he would allow me to do this and he finally agreed to give me permission.
"The chairman knew we were in the FA Cup final and how much it would mean for me to play in it, and that is when he agreed to let me carry on playing.
"I know it was not an easy decision for him to make but when you look at the overall situation it was possible for this to happen and I am very happy the agreement was reached.
"It means a lot to me that the chairman said I could play for Portsmouth without Lens receiving the transfer fee.
"You don't get many moments like this and although it has been a very difficult year for everyone at Portsmouth we now want to show what we can do."
Several clubs, including Blackburn, Wolves, and Greek club Panathinaikos, are already chasing Dindane's signature, but for now the striker is focused on getting the better of his Ivory Coast colleagues.
"I often speak to Didier and Salomon, but we have not been talking football, and definitely not about the final," he added.
"It is good to play against a couple of real friends in a game like this, but of course I will want to beat them. It is going to be very difficult because Chelsea are the 'Dream Team'.
"But you never know what might happen in a one-off game. Anything is possible, and we will be going there to play good football and try our best.
"After all the problems there has been at Portsmouth this season it is a great achievement to reach the final and now we want to finish it on a high."