Wednesday, September 16, 2009 11:26:23 AM
Arsène Wenger believes that the ‘diving’ furore surrounding Arsenal has stopped his side getting penalties in the last couple of weeks.
The issue first arose when Eduardo won a spot-kick against Celtic in the Champions League Play-off Round second leg at Emirates Stadium on August 26. He was charged by UEFA, banned for two games and then, this week, saw the decision annulled.
The whole saga has brought “diving”, “simulation” or “deceiving the referee” into the media spotlight and, according to the Arsenal manager, it has cost his side penalties in their last two games.
“We didn’t get the penalty at Manchester United with Arshavin and it was a direct consequence of that,” he said ahead of Wednesday’s game in Liege. “We didn’t get the penalty at Manchester City with Gareth Barry, it was a direct consequence of that.”
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:08:42 AM
Further to Uefa’s decision on Monday night, Eduardo has made the following comment to Arsenal.com:
“I’m very pleased that we have finally arrived at the truth. 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.
“I certainly feel relieved now. I have had great support from my family, friends and of course everyone at the Club.
“Now I just want to forget about this and think about our match against Standard Liege on Wednesday. I was always prepared for the match in Belgium because I had good feeling and I always remained positive about the outcome. Now we have a final result, I can now look forward to helping the team on Wednesday night.
“All I remember of the incident is that as soon as I had possession of the ball I headed towards goal at full speed. I was very close to the Celtic keeper and felt contact on my foot and then lost my balance. I know perhaps more than anyone else that when you have contact at speed it can be dangerous.
“I just want to say that I’m 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.”
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:54:01 AM
On Monday evening, UEFA made the following announcement:
“The UEFA Appeals Body today accepted the appeal lodged by Arsenal FC against the two-match suspension handed to striker Eduardo.
“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.
“Therefore, the decision of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body of 1 September, in which the player was suspended for two UEFA club competition matches, is annulled.”
Arsenal Football Club then released the following statement:
“We are grateful that the Appeals Body focused on the evidence and made the right decision in this case. We were able to show that there was contact between the goalkeeper and Eduardo and that the decision of the UEFA Disciplinary body should be annulled.
“We fully support the drive for fair play in football and believe it is important that UEFA provide clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced going forward.
“We are glad to put this incident behind us and concentrate on the games ahead.”
Friday, August 28, 2009 4:04:27 PM
Arsène Wenger has branded Uefa’s charge against Eduardo as “a complete disgrace and unacceptable”.
The Arsenal striker has been hit with disciplinary action for “intent to cause a match official to make an incorrect decision” over a penalty incident in the first half of the Champions League Play-Off with Celtic on Wednesday night.
The charge was announced on Friday just before Wenger met the media ahead of the game against Manchester United. It is safe to say Wenger felt his player and his Club had been dealt with harshly.
“I find it a complete disgrace and unacceptable,” he said.
“We won't accept the way we have been treated in this case for two reasons. One, I believe that you can debate whether it was a penalty or not. This charge implies there was intent and a desire to cheat the referee. Having watched the pictures again there was nothing conclusive. Two, it singles out a player in Europe to be a cheat and that is not acceptable.
“I believe that, first of all, there are two cases in this case and that Uefa has taken action that is not defendable.”
The manager went on to say that Europe’s governing body may have created problems for themselves by bringing the action.
“I've fought my whole life against cheating and I've seen some obvious cases where Uefa didn't intervene,” he said.
“On and off the pitch things have happened where no action was taken. This is the first time since I've been in football that the judgement has been made by the referee is not accepted by the football bodies.
“Usually a situation that has been assessed and judged by the referee can't be touched again. Now every single decision made by a referee can be challenged. So for me they've opened a very dangerous door here.”