Uefa should be ashamed

Uefa should be ashamed

Uefa have banned Arsenal’s Eduardo for two matches after his dive to gain a penalty against Celtic. Diving is wrong, yes, but Uefa have just set a very dangerous precedent they will surely come to regret…

There is little doubt that Eduardo deliberately went to ground to get his side a spot kick against Celtic, even the most ardent Arsenal fan will admit it should never have been given, and even that the Croatian international deserved a yellow card for his troubles. But there is no excuse for the unacceptable way that the media and Europe’s governing body have treated him.

Wenger’s description was of a “witch hunt” and Uefa will be happy to know they have reached the point where the burning can begin in earnest, handing a two match ban out. In doing so, however, they have turned a page in the history of football that they cannot be allowed to return to.

A dive, if spotted by the referee, warrants “only” a yellow card. No suspension, you will notice. Yet if the referee fails to do his job, that same dive can now be accompanied by a retrospective two match ban. The ban is for “decieving the referee”, a simply ridiculous phrase that Uefa should be forced to regret after every single game this season. Hats off to Uefa if they really intend to stick to this new plan to get rid of cheating in the game, but does anyone really believe they are going to implement the same penalty against the likes of £30m+ Ibrahimovic, £80m Cristiano Ronaldo and co when they con the ref in every game they feature in this season. If they did so we would probably never see them get two consecutive appearances this year.

If a player claims the ball did not touch him when the opposition appeal for a corner kick, presumably if the ref believes that player and gives a goal kick after the match that player will then be given a two match ban for “decieving the referee”? Hmmm, I think not. Likewise if in the middle of the pitch someone takes a dive to win a meaningless free kick, the next day when everyone realises he has conned the referee will he miss the next two matches as a result? Once again, I highly doubt it.

The truth is that the media and Uefa have teamed up to make an example of Arsenal Football Club and of Eduardo, creating a show of unity against cheating in a haphazard, nonsensical manner that has been pathetic to see. If Uefa had really wanted to stamp out cheating in football, where is the two match ban for Ashley Young following the wingers tumble to gain a penalty against Rapid Vienna just days after Eduard0-gate? Where is the ban for Lionel Messi following an attempted headbutt that he only recieved a yellow for?

I will leave you with this thought – If Ronaldo had done the same thing as Eduardo, as he has done so many times in his career, would we have the same situation?

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