Posted on September 14, 2009
Arsenal have won their appeal against striker Eduardo’s two-match ban following his alleged dive in the Champions League match against Celtic.
The Croatia striker was initially suspended for two Champions League games for allegedly diving to win a penalty in the qualifier at the Emirates at the end of August.
Eduardo successfully converted the spot-kick himself and the Gunners went on to win the game 3-1.
However, Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith was quick to call for action against Eduardo and UEFA subsequently began an investigation, which Gunners boss Arsene Wenger lambasted as a “witch-hunt”.
The Premier League club lodged an appeal against the ban which would have ruled the player out of the games against Standard Liege on Wednesday as well as the home match with Olympiacos in a fortnight.
However, UEFA have now announced the ban has been quashed.
A statement on their website, uefa.com, read: “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.”
The north London club had been furious with the initial ban and welcomed UEFA’s action.
A statement on arsenal.com read: “We are grateful that the appeal 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.”