In a world where we have seen players like Steven Gerrard, Didier Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo dive over and over again to win free kicks, penalties, con referees intentionally and bring the game into disrepute, we have also seen a judicial system that doesn’t punish them the slightest. We have seen managers like Rafa Benetiz, Alex Ferguson, Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho defend these players to the highest. We have never seen the FA, UEFA or FIFA take any action against these players when their diving antics are obvious, publicly viewable to all and damn right outrageous.
Eduardo was fouled by the keeper on Wednesday’s game when he past him. It was a foul, Eduardo did fall – with contact from the keeper, and the referee gave a penalty for it. Post game, we’ve had a bitter set of comments from the Celtic camp and those from UEFA. I’ve defended Eduardo since Wednesday and fellow Arsenal fans have critised me for “condoning diving”. Do I condone diving? Of course not. Diving, feigning injury and direct and purposeful physical attacks on players are three areas of football I hate and I wish didn’t exist.
I do not condone diving, but you tell me on any replay that you will see that Eduardo clearly dived and I will be surprised. How anyone can see a dive in the replay is beyond me. Eduardo says there was contact with the keeper and I will believe what the player says. You ask any of the Croatian team, if you ask Slaven Bilic, ask Arsene Wenger, you will know that Eduardo is one of the most honest players in the game.
Yes, the penalty was controversial – more so because Eduardo was going away from goal, but the treatment of him via the UEFA charge is completely unrealistic in modern day football. To single out one player and accuse him of diving, to bring a charge against him for it, when the referee didn’t think so, video replays do not suggest he does, is beyond belief. The SFA have members on the board at UEFA, which is probably the main reason for all of this.
If you’re a follower of football, then you will have seen Steven Gerrard, Didier Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo dive countless number of times – where the dive is obvious and how on earth have they never been punished?
Arsene is absolutely livid about what has happened, and he has every right to be:
“I find it a complete disgrace and not acceptable. We will not accept the way Uefa treated this case. Having seen the television again nothing is conclusive from that and it singles out a player in Europe to be a cheat and that is not acceptable. I have seen some obvious cases where Uefa didn’t intervene and that is on and off the pitch. Things have happened in Europe on and off the pitch where Fifa did not act at all. I believe that this is the first time in my time in football where a situation that has been judged and assessed by the referee and that the referee’s decision is not accepted by the football bodies.
“Normally a situation that has been assessed and judged by the referee cannot be touched again. So that means we have opened a door that means that every single decision that is seen by a referee can be changed. They have opened a very dangerous door there. I am not disappointed, here it is a witch hunt. Eduardo has been touched by the goalkeeper we can prove that. One thing – is it a penalty or not? I am the first to say it doesn’t look obvious to be a penalty but it is another thing to judge with intent he did go down and I wish you good luck to prove that after seeing the pictures again. To single a player out like that who has come back from injury like he has, been hit like he has been, for going down I don’t blame him. When you see his leg first time I don’t blame him getting out of the way of the goalkeeper.”
And Arsene feels that the case is basically totally unfounded and I think he’s pretty much in shock.
“He feels he has done nothing wrong. Of course the timing is not ideal. It is funny football, you can break a player’s leg and it doesn’t cause a debate for anybody but this case has been all over the world and treated like Eduardo has killed somebody. Do you know that this penalty had no outcome on the result, we were 2-0 up anyway and we would have won this game at home. We have been victims of players diving in England who were English but were never treated like that, so the media have to ask themselves to treat every case the same.”
And if you’re in the moods for reading a few quotes, this is what Andy Gray had to say:
“I am staggered by the UEFA decision to charge Arsenal striker Eduardo for ‘deceiving the referee’. It was a very strange ruling and especially considering it was for something that was unclear. For all we know Eduardo might have been touched by the keeper – and in the laws of the game you don’t have to be hammered, there only has to be the intent to tackle for a foul to be awarded – or he may just have been trying to protect his leg he injured last year.”
And just in case you think I’m biased, take a look at some of this footage:
First up, England golden boy, Steven Gerrard:
What about Cristiano Ronaldo?
And don’t forget Didier Drogba:
Surely these players should have had countless charges against them. UEFA, I implore you to explain your actions? Do you have a personal vendetta against the Arsenal? I’m 100% behind Arsene, Eduardo and our team. This propaganda is beyond belief.