Wrong Wrong Wrong!
Arsenal striker Eduardo has been banned for two games by Uefa for diving to win a penalty against Celtic last week.
The Croatia international was found guilty of deceiving referee Manuel Gonzalez as he fell under the challenge of goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
Arsenal, leading 2-0 on aggregate at the time, went on to win the two-leg tie 5-1 and progress into the Champions League group stages.
Eduardo will miss his side’s matches against Standard Liege and Olympiakos.
Arsenal have three days to appeal against Uefa’s decision.
But the club will wait for more information on the disciplinary panel’s verdict before deciding whether to try and overturn the forward’s suspension for the matches on 16 September and 29 September respectively.
“We have been informed that we will receive a ‘reasoned decision’ from Uefa by Thursday. Once we receive Uefa’s rationale, we will make a decision on the next steps,” a club statement read.
“We have been deeply frustrated by the perfunctory and apparently arbitrary process that Uefa has followed in this instance.
“We believe it is imperative that Uefa’s explanation for its decision provides clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced.”
The incident provoked a furious response from Boruc and other Celtic players at the time. (BBC Sport)
Look, I am not an idiot who so easily lets his affiliations sway him. I am an Arsenal fan through and through and I can admit that Eduardo dived, it was obvious. However it is nothing we don’t see again and again and whilst I am all for banning offenders by operating in this manner UEFA has opened a large can of worms that they will dearly wish they haven’t taken a tin opener to.
Repeat offenders should be punished for their continual diving antics but to punish someone so severely for just one incident will set a precedent that many could well end up doing more harm than good. What happens for instance if in the next game a deliberate dive is seen by the whole world and there ISN’T a ban? It will look like double standards.
The act of a dive is a very subjective one and therefore punishing one offence can be a very tricky prospect. Much better to start taking note of repeat offences by one player and then hit that individual with a ban that will make him think twice about doing so again. You can have a retroactive yellow card handed to a player after a match and then after two or three a player can be given a one match ban. That would seem a much more reliable away to deal with a problem that goes far deeper than just one poorly timed fall to the ground.
Also does such a rule as used by UEFA exist in the Premier League? There needs to be some consistency in the way the game polices itself otherwise you will get players trying one thing in one competition whilst behaving in another manner when back in their domestic league.
I am confident that the club will appeal but equally confident that, like most appeals, it will fail. It seems fairly easy to implement some post match officiating system that seeks to weed out the real culprits who time and again try to con the referee. Not necessarily always in such dramatic fashions as to fling yourself to the floor in the penalty area, its those players who fall at the merest mention of a tackle all over the park who are equally in need of punishment for a dive is a dive wherever it takes place and should be treated as such.
It’s time the game did its best to rid the game of simulation but I am afraid that the way UEFA has acted is doing more harm than good.