Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Eduardo Banned For Two Games, Can Of Worms - Opened

UEFA have certainly invited a lot of work for themselves haven't they?

With the recent announcement that Arsenal's Croatian forward Eduardo has been banned for two Champions League games, the European body will invite a combination of praise and criticism with their latest actions.

Now whether the player actually dived is still up for debate. Eduardo (naturally) claimed he felt contact from Celtic 'keeper Artur Boruc and had fallen because of this.

Video evidence suggests otherwise - there was no contact and the player threw himself to the deck to win his team a penalty effectively putting to bed any plans Celtic had of a fightback. The latter being a view the majority of people share. The grimy smile on Eduardo's face as he wheeled away in celebration of his scored penalty told the story.

Evidently, a view UEFA share as well.

Arsene Wenger is rightly furious with UEFA's decision to charge Eduardo as there is a certain Portugese international that has done the same for years in the Premier League and has proceeded to get away with it (expect that tradition to continue in La Liga).

But how far are UEFA now willing to go with every other dive that occurs in the Champions League this season, or domestic leagues for that matter. And is it just penalties they look at? The referee at Old Trafford on Saturday managed to spot Emmanuel Eboue's ridiculous dive and booked him, fair play but there are many players around Europe that will get away with it this season, in or out of the penalty box.

If UEFA see this as an avenue they wish to explore (let's face it, they have to now with the Eduardo suspension) then I would suggest setting up an individual body to deal with these sorts of incidents.

The problem remains how to integrate a system into games. Will referees be using video assistance to determine fouls, both in and out of the box? Will the assessment come at the end of the game and fines and suspensions dished out then? Will it be trialled? Will it apply to UEFA games or to individual domestic leagues / cup competitions as well?

All questions that will need to be answered now that UEFA have opened this can of worms. It shall not be the last we hear of diving this year, both at home and abroad.

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