Uefa bans Eduardo for two matches

Eduardo won a spot-kick after going down in the penalty area
Eduardo wins a penalty after going down in the penalty area

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.

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“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.

The following day Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith backed Bhoys midfielder Massimo Donati’s call for Uefa to take action.

Uefa previously banned Lithuania’s Saulius Mikoliunas for two games after the SFA lobbied for a review of video evidence of the penalty he won during a Euro 2008 qualifier at Hampden Park.

Arsene Wenger
Wenger has offered a staunch defence of his player

But Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has fiercely defended his player against the possibility of retrospective punishment.

“I believe that you can debate whether it was a penalty or not. For me it’s a witch-hunt that we see and not an objective judgement of a case,” he said last week.

“This charge implies there was intent and a desire to cheat the referee.

“Having watched the pictures again there was nothing conclusive.”

The Frenchman claimed any action against the player would set a dangerous precedent with tens of similar incidents every week in European football.

He also suggested the experience of breaking his leg against Birmingham in February 2008 may have led Eduardo to take evasive action in anticipation of colliding with Boruc.

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