I have long argued that Uefa and Fifa should take retrospective action if a player gains an advantage for his side by way of simulation. Or cheating as it should be called.
But the two game ban on Eduardo for diving is just plain wrong. The Arsenal striker was found guilty of deceiving Manuel Enrique Mejuto GonzÄ‚Ë‡lez, the referee, by going to ground under a challenge from Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc in last week’s 3-1 win in the Champions league play-off round tie.
Despite Arsenal submitting a lengthy document defending him backed up with video evidence which they claim shows that there was contact between the two players, Uefa were obviously unimpressed, reaching their decision in a mere 53 minutes.
So, what are the ramifications here? Sadly, I think Europe’s governing body has made a rod for its own back.
Eduardo, Uefa’s public enemy number one
First off, Eduardo has been banned after Uefa found him guilty of ‘deceiving the referee’. This term was first introduced by Uefa in 2006. And how many players, Eduardo apart, do you think have been charged with this offence and found guilty since then? Answer: none. That’s right, in every game throughout Europe over the last 3 years, Uefa would have us believe that not a single player has tried to dupe the ref.
Arsenal will surely appeal and you’d think they would be able to put together a pretty good case. A trawl through the tapes of last weeks games in La Liga, Serie A or the EPL and they’ll surely find dozens of examples of players doing just what Eduardo did. Not diving necessarily, but trying to put one over the match officials. In other words, Arsenal will claim that they are being victimized.
Moreover, where do you draw the line? If a player appeals for a corner when he knows full well it’s a goal kick, isn’t this the same crime? Or perhaps when a player throws his hands up in all innocence when he knows he’s committed a foul? And, while we are on it, why hasn’t the entire Bristol City team been charged with the same offence after the Crystal Palace ‘ghost goal’ from a few weeks back. They all knew that Freddy Sears had scored but by not acknowledging the fact, they were guilty of deceit on the grandest scale of all.
Indeed, what is to stop any team from looking at films of future opponents, finding a clear case of deception and sending it off to Uefa with a request that the player or players be banned?
What’s even worse is Uefa and Fifa’s refusal to use retrospective video evidence to reprieve players who have been wrongly booked or red carded. How many more players will have to miss big games before the authorities sort that out? Just ask Laurent Blanc who was banned from the 1998 World Cup final after some play-acting from Slaven Bilic got the Frenchman sent off in the semi’s. Or Darren Fletcher who was forced to watch Manchester United’s Champions League final from the side lines after being wrongly dismissed in his semi final. The list goes on and on and Uefa will get themselves in an all mighty pickle if they insist on only looking at one side of the ‘retrospective video evidence’ argument.
Darren Fletcher trains before the CL final although he had no chance of playing
I should say that this isn’t a piece in support of Eduardo. He dived. He simulated. He cheated. Mind you, if the referee had picked that up, he’d only have received a booking. Now he’s got a 2 match ban. How can that be seen as fair?
What would be infinitely more shaming for the player is if Uefa forced Arsenal to show a TV replay of the incident on their giant screen every time Eduardo goes on to the pitch for the next 2 months. The opposing fans would lap it up and after a few weeks of that, you kind of get the impression that Eduardo would think twice before trying the same trick again. And a good job too.
WOW OH Kay thats an amazing piece! Keep it up and maybe UEFA will change! I like the jumbo screen part!
Playing the dive on the Jumbo screen is the best idea I have heard on this subject.
Start a petition on Footy Boots and send it to UEFA.
Solid piece. Everyone knows Eduardo dove and I think that if anyone watched this weekends games, you would have seen many other examples. Raul and Rooney both were touched by keepers, however it is unquestionable that they too dove and intended to deceive the referee by embellishing the contact. The punishment does not fit the crime and fans all over will be demanding two match suspensions for any questionable play. Can’t wait to see how long it takes UEFA to ban another player…
Duberry is right; start a petition right away 🙂
I’m a Gunners fan, but I hate diving and simulation, so maybe the big screen idea would stop players from putting the club in a bad light.
Great article. I agree with your all you have said. It would cause big problems for Uefa so let them see how much of a stupid idea it is.Now Ronaldo and Drogba won’t be able to play well since they can’t dive.
I dont see why there can’t be instant replay officiating. The National Hockey League, National Football League, Canadian Football League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball all use it.
Im not saying have every single call the ref makes be challenged with instant replay, but if say each team had one or two challenges per game in order to have the officials reassess their call with the aid of instant replay, it would help keep officiating errors from ruining a game, while banishing this whole retroactive punishment nonsense.
I agree with everyone else; fantastic article. you make some really good points. i just hope FIFA do something about diving in general soon, or else we may have this problem more and more. I heard an idea from another site that said if the dive was outside the penalty area, then it should a yellow; inside: red.
I agree with the 2-game ban, but FIFA should make it an official rule and word the offense differently.
Im not saying that Celtic would have gone through to the group stage but that penalty solidified Arsenals advancement. I think that Eduardos ban should be even longer. There is no place for diving in the game and UEFA chose a perfect time to use the rules for the first time because of the high-profile of the match!
yeah…fletcher’s red card was a little questionable, but there was definately contact and denied an obvious chance. abidals was even worse he didnt touch anelka
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