Justice prevails or bizarre back tracking?
Uefa has overturned its decision to ban Arsenal striker Eduardo for two Champions League games for diving.
The Croatia international was suspended after being found guilty of diving to win a penalty in the Champions League qualifier against Celtic on 26 August.
But on Monday, Uefa accepted Arsenal’s appeal and he will now be eligible to play in their opening two Group H ties.
“I’m very pleased that we have finally arrived at the truth,” said Eduardo in a statement on the Arsenal website.
“All we needed to do was to prove what happened and we have managed to do that. This decision makes me feel a lot better.
“I just want to say that I am a fair player. To score goals you must take your opportunities and I’m not the type of player who needs to be dishonest to score goals.”
Arsenal also welcomed Uefa’s decision.
“We were able to show there was contact between the keeper and Eduardo and that the decision should be annulled,” a Gunners statement said.
“We fully support the drive for fair play in football and believe it is important that Uefa provides clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced going forward.
“We are glad to put this incident behind us and concentrate on the games ahead.” (BBC Sport)
I have to say I was a little surprised at this decision. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think Eduardo is a serial offender and probably didn’t deserve to be used as a precedent but he did without doubt dive to win a penalty against Celtic so to have the ban overturned seems bizarre.
Either you do not impose the ban at all or you punish the offender. I have to admit I thought the ban may be cut to a one match offence or perhaps even a suspended sentence, which would make sense given his previous lack of diving offences, but to have the ban totally removed makes UEFA look toothless. Now when the next player is at first suspended by the European Football Governing body the appeals will rain in and the ban will be overturned. Also to change the decision just 24 hours before the Gunners are in action is also astounding.