Wed, Sep 16, 2009 - Page 20 News List

UEFA lifts Eduardo’s two-game diving ban

AFP , NYON, SWITZERLAND

Arsenal striker Eduardo’s two-game Champions League ban for diving has been over-turned by UEFA’s Appeals Body, UEFA announced on Monday.

The Brazil-born naturalized Croatian was retrospectively punished after being found to have deceived the referee when winning a penalty in Arsenal’s Champions League play-off return leg at home to Celtic last month.

Arsenal appealed after saying that the decision was “deeply biased” and based on “errors” and “uncertainties.”

“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 the panel’s satisfaction that the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty,” a statement on the UEFA Web site said.

The decision to ban Eduardo, which was taken by ­UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body on Sept. 1, was subsequently “annulled.”

During Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Celtic, Eduardo won a first-half penalty, which he then scored to put his side 1-0 up, after going to ground under a challenge from visiting goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

“I’m very pleased that we have finally arrived at the truth,” Eduardo said in a statement on the Arsenal Web site.

“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,” he said. “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.”

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