Uefa overturns Eduardo diving ban
Eduardo wins a penalty after going down in the penalty area
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.”
Arsenal had called the initial decision by Uefa “deeply flawed”.
And the decision to charge and then ban Eduardo provoked a strong response from Gunners manager Arsene Wenger who claimed any action against the Croatian would set a dangerous precedent with tens of similar incidents every week in European football.
A Uefa statement on Monday said: “Following examination of all the evidence, notably the declarations of both the referee and the referees’ assessor, as well as the various video footage, it was not established to our satisfaction that the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty.”
Diving has been the subject of much debate since the Eduardo incident with Wayne Rooney also coming under the spotlight following two penalty decisions that went in his favour, first playing for Manchester United against Arsenal and then for England in the friendly against Slovenia.
Celtic winger Aiden McGeady was also sent off after he was shown a second yellow card for an alleged dive in Celtic’s 1-0 win over Hibernian which occurred only days after the Eduardo furore.
Arsenal begin their Champions League group stage campaign with a trip to the Maurice Dufrasne Stadium to face Standard on Wednesday and then play at home against Olympiakos on 29 September.