Why UEFA’s Verdict on Eduardo is Wrong

As we wait and see if the EPL will take action against Adebayor, as FIFA has taken action against Eduardo, it is time to contemplate…

Why UEFA’s Verdict on Eduardo is Wrong – A reasoned critique of an unreasonable decision

By “stuartlondon”

A ‘dive’ is a self induced fall that does not result from illegal contact with another player. It is intended to simulate a foul and obtain unfair advantage by the award of a free kick, penalty, or even a red card against an opposition player.

It is a form of cheating, and therefore to be abhorred. To deter the practice, players correctly judged to have dived should face a proportionate punishment. Preferably, this punishment should be awarded by the referee during the game, to prevent the outcome of the match being influenced by unfair player behaviour.

Where it is not detected by the referee, it should be dealt with retrospectively by the relevant governing body, on the basis of available video evidence and testimony from match officials.

However, to prove that diving has occurred it is essential to demonstrate the player went down both intentionally and with the aim of deceiving the referee into awarding a foul.

A question frequently raised by those commenting on the Eduardo case is whether or not there was contact between the player and the goalkeeper. But when judging whether or not a player has dived, the presence or absence of contact between players is not itself decisive.

A player may fall accidentally in the absence of any contact with an opposing player, but if this is simply due to an uneven playing surface or sheer clumsiness, rather than an attempt to deceive the referee, then it is not a dive.

A player may fall following contact with an opposing player, but if the contact is slight and the fall a deliberate response intending to deceive the referee, then this is diving. A player may even fall deliberately, with or without contact with an opposing player, but if this is done to avoid injury, say from a sliding tackle, and not done to deceive the referee and obtain the award of a foul, then it is not diving.

So deciding on player intent is crucial when seeking to judge whether a dive has occurred, and since, by the nature of the offence, players will not usually admit to a dive, we must examine the incident looking for clear, objective evidence that the fall was deliberate and intended to deceive.

Such evidence might include whether there was any contact or none, if there was contact was this hard or slight, did the nature of the resultant fall seem proportional to the amount of contact or exaggerated for effect, and did the player protest afterwards and appeal for a foul to be awarded.

If for example there was little or no contact, an exaggerated fall to the ground, simulation of a severe injury, and repeated claims of a foul, then we have good objective evidence of intent to deceive.

Applying these principles to UEFA’s recent decision to punish Eduardo for diving, what might be concluded? Eduardo himself vigorously denies the offence, so we must rely primarily on the available video footage of the incident.

I would argue that it cannot reasonably be claimed that this provides clear, objective evidence of a deliberate fall, executed with an intent to deceive the referee. Eduardo did fall, and there was little or no contact between Eduardo and the goalkeeper prior to the fall. However, Eduardo did not attempt to exaggerate the fall, did not feign injury, and he did not claim a foul.

The only reasonable conclusion must be that the offence is not proven by the evidence and Eduardo is innocent of the charge. Of course, this will not stop others reaching unfair and unreasonable judgements about the episode. We don’t expect fairness from our adversaries, be they on the field or in the press.

But Eduardo has the right to a proper standard of justice from the governing body for European football, and their decision to ban him for two games is both entirely unreasonable and extremely shabby.

If UEFA’s arbitrary approach to retrospective punishment continues, we may find that the only safe option for a player who is awarded a penalty following a borderline foul is to immediately protest against the decision to the referee! Of course this risks a booking for dissent, and over a decision that favours the dissenting player!

PS Looking at the latest team photo, am I mistaken or is Arshavin is taller sitting down than he is standing up?

Footnote: this is what Arsenal have said about the UEFA verdict on Eduardo…

The Club is in receipt of Uefa’s reasoned decision in relation to the charge against Eduardo.

We strongly believe that the decision taken is deeply flawed and not based on any forensic review of the video evidence available.

There are obvious errors and inconsistencies in Uefa’s judgment and we intend to appeal.

28 Replies to “Why UEFA’s Verdict on Eduardo is Wrong”

  1. still cantg get over last night. i think we have 4 world class players, Arshavin,Fabregas,RvP,Rosicky, the rest are not good enough.

    We used to have players who would fight for every ball sometimes literally. To see Clichy jogging back lightly after losing the ball in a dangerous position makes me want to weep.

    We were a top 6 side last season who capitalised on Villa’a small squad and Everton’s numerous injuries. The competition for top 4 places is going to be harder as Citys’ owners will throw more money at Hughes in January to attract even better palyers whilst we get giddy over a 21 year old from Rennes/Lens/Monaco, whatever.

    If we are now a Europa league side from next season, then the board and AW should be honest and say we can no longer compete, because it will wind me up to hear we can still win the league if come November we are 12-15 points behind most likely Chelsea.

    I am not even cheered up by the scum down the road being beaten by Manure today.
    The top four will be Manure,Chelski,The Mousers and Citeh in any order. We will be fighting for 5th,6th and 7th with Everton,Vill and the Scum.

    I am not happy about saying that but unless we do something drastic soon we might even struggle to make that group.

    I didn’t get carried away with our first results and I am not getting carried away now. It’s a fact that we are just not good enough if we are missing even just one of the 4 players I mentioned we are mid-table. I know you could say the same about L’pool etc but at least they have fighters in the other teams,some of our players just do not have the bottle or do not care.

    I hate what we are becoming……. SPINELESS

  2. still think we are good enough Rolling Eyes
    i respect anyone’s right to have there own opinion and post positive things on this forum but for fucks sake its about time some people took off the gooner tinted goggle and have a look at this team of ours . my god this is the worse arsenal team since 1994 or thereabouts and i for one am getting very pissed off with wenger and the poxy board of directors who are running our club,
    why do we have to look at the likes of almunia, song,eboue,bentdner,dennilson walcott and a few others every fucking week, its just not good enough,

  3. Once again we were the better team but lost. But does the better team concede four goals? We were absolutely playing Man City off the park and it only seemed a matter of time once we levelled to go on and win. Defensive frailties or was it our gung ho approach?

    I think Clichy has definitely taken a step backwards since that fateful day in Birmingham. Questions will be asked about Almunia – he is not the world class keeper the club deserves. I remember back in the George Graham years when we played probably the best football under his regime and lost 4-2 to Norwich. George did not make that mistake again.

    Arsene needs to address the alarming way we can go from worldbeaters to being 4-1 down in literally moments. There is no doubt the football is unbelievable but a few more defeats will see the confidence drain away.

    It is not the end of the world but it needs sorting sooner rather than later. I think all Arsenal fans would sacrifice a little of the flair we have for a more solid defence. Not just from defenders but from all positions on the field.

    I don’t blame Arsene for gambling with the substitutions he made to try and win the game but four goals conceded by any Arsenal team is just not acceptable. Looking at the last few seasons – it is our defensive record that has let us down, so it is not a new thing. Arsene has even commented on this so he is well aware.

    I have just heard Arsene’s post-match interview. He is well aware of where we fell down and I am sure as frustrated as we all are. Losing today was entirely down to Arsenal, it was in our hands and for now we have failed. The pressure is on, as already we cannot afford another defeat.

  4. Here we go again… the worst team ever the worst season ever.
    Sorry Tony for going off topic but I allow myself the freedom to reply to Barry.
    I do the match reporting for the Arsenal Benelux fans over here. I watch every gam live (on sportschannel of internet) and I write my report on the moment. This means that mostly within 3 or 4 minutes after the final whisle my match report is online for the fans in our country who couldn’t see it live. Yesterday the game was live on the sportschannel in Belgium.
    Yesterday I wrote after 45 minutes: the worst 45 minutes from Arsenal this season. No cohesion, no grit no determination. I think no one will say I was wrong ? (Tell me if you think so).
    Because I had a dinner at 6 my wife dragged me from the TV a minute before RVP equalised. My last words written on the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half was: At first the Arsenal played flat but after some 5 minutes and certainly with Rosicky joining in began to get under steam.
    So a friend of mine informed by text messages of the outcome of the game. Must say it took me a while before the food tasted good yesterday.
    When I came home I put myself in front of the TV and started the digital recording of the game and forced myself to have a look and to complete my report.
    So my final conclusion: Adebayro should have been sent of for the RVP incident, should have had a yellow after some 1O minutes for a very nasty challenge on Cesc (was a possible bone chrusher). And on the result: we could have won it if we would have finished like City.
    Now my friends ove here in Belgium can testifie on this : I watch the game as a fan but try to write as neutral as possible. When Eduardo dived I wrote it like it was. When we get an offside goal, I write it as it was.
    So yesterday after the game I felt down and sad but the “reporter” in me said: this game could have gone eather way.
    And if you dont believe me, believe the Arsenal-haters of MOTD who told it also in that sense. Normally they do the conga when we lose a game but they where quite neutral at this game.
    So this is not the worst team ever, the worst season ever so far. Just get back behind the boys and maybe like next year the City defeat could be a turning point.

  5. barry what alot of nonsense . yesterday song and eboue were not the culprit. we have 15 minute of madness were everything come apart from a match we were in control (nice to see rosicky back so).
    i m worried of the performance of important first team like clichy sagna cesc almunia and denilson yesterday.dont even talk about diaby

    clichy was bad and his performance for a while now are going downhill (chance to give gibbs his chance) cecs was giving pass to eveyone include man city players , diaby was again average slowing us down,denilson well until sub come i forget he was here,Given show us what a 7 million top class keeper can do, looking danemark playing stop playing bentdner on the wing and give him central place, and like clichy drop sagna for eboue.
    but at the end even with this negative we dont deserve to loose yesterday but for positive we can look for some more easy match to come and comeback up the leaderboard

    and finally for ade well he is classless and should get ban for the VP attack as well some of the away supporter who chant racist chant ;if this is true as racism is not allowed in modern i hope some head come down in shame i was expecting more class from the away fan

  6. Thanks for a balance piece on Eduardo I think in all quarters this is what has been lacking – a balanced, non-reactionary appraisal of the incident.

    For the record it is my belief it was a dive but as to his motives there is no way I or anyone else could say for sure. He may well have anticipated contact, Rooney certainly did a week later.

    Barry, very off topic. Yes I understand your frustration but this argument about ‘world class’ players clouds your argument. It’s a phrase I can’t stand, as it is very subjective, regularly misused, misunderstood or plain abused. Can anyone for sure even tell me what it really means??

    The last two matches, away from home, were extremely tough ones to get back to back and yet at times we acquitted ourselves extremely well, playing both teams off the park for lengthy periods (Man Utd for almost all of the game). As egards ‘world class’ the level of quality is without doubt there in attack but it is true we have lacked consistency and equally that we have suffered some pretty bad fortune (lot of hit woodwork, Ade should have been off the pitch etc).

    I do agree about Clichy, his performance yesterday was extremely poor, contributing as it did to three of the four goals. And yes he deserves a rocket for not tracking back – time for Gibbs to have a run?

    The test now is how we respond – it is way too early to write this team of players off. I would be more worried if we were not producing glimpses of our true capabilities and we didn’t have some strong players arriving back from injury. Rosicky was amazing yesterday.

    I can see other positives too – the level of injustice and resentment the team must be feeling over the Eduardo and Adebayor situations and the result of the last two games will, I think, serve to bring the team closer and make them more determined – to galvanise them further as a unit. I think there is a lot more bottle and fight in this team (spurred on by past mistakes & failures) and it is my hope we will see the performances come together over the next 6 weeks.

    I’d pit this lot against the 1994 team without a shadow of a doubt.

    With two of the most difficult fixtures out of the way we are free to imagine something of a strong run now. The fixture list to me looks enticing. Lets see where we stand at the end of October when we are about to face the Tiny Totts. Hmmm?

    Wednesday, 16 September 2009 Standard Liege v Arsenal (CL)
    Saturday, 19 September 2009 Arsenal v Wigan
    Tuesday, 22 September 2009 Arsenal v West Brom (LC)
    Saturday, 26 September 2009 Fulham v Arsenal
    Tuesday, 29 September 2009 Arsenal v Olympiakos (CL)
    Sunday, 4 October 200 Arsenal v Blackburn
    Saturday, 17 October 2009 Arsenal v Birmingham
    Tuesday, 20 October 2009 AZ v Arsenal (CL)
    Sunday, 25 October 2009 West Ham v Arsenal
    Saturday, 31 October 2009 Arsenal v Tottenham

  7. exactly. i agree with Walter and Jonny Neale. anyone who thought a few weeks ago that we’d handily beat both Man U and Man City away must have been on crack. yes, our team does have some legitimate concerns, but games like those are always a crapshoot, arguably more so this year after the eduardo controversy and the adebayor “revenge at all costs” factor.

    the past two games were a sucker-punch to the nuts. but now, it’s time to pick ourselves up and support the manager and his players.

    now the time is to really clean up on the fixtures that we should win!

  8. Exactly Tim – I am choosing to look at ‘performance’ rather than the results for the moment. Results are important but it would be of far greater concern if we were playing badly and losing.

    There ARE areas of concern. I do admit to some strong doubts over Almunia (and the back up or lack thereof) and the team’s defensive steel and ability to close big games out. I also worry that when Gallas and/or Vermaelen are injured we are scraping the barrel in terms of cover. The Djorou situation was preventable and you have to feel we should have brought in one more defensive player as cover (using the money we gained through the sale of Toure & Vermaelen).

    That said, defense is a clear area the team can and undoubtedly will address. Wenger has already identified it in his post-match comments as an area of concern.

    I popped onto ‘Le Grove’ earlier and with sad predictability the D&G merchants are frothing at the mouth with bitter fury about Wenger having too much power, being past it, that he is killing the club, the players are jokes, David Dein is the real reason for success, the experiment having failed, the season already being over…I could go on & on!

    The vitriol is startling for it’s aggression, viciousness and the finality behind the comments

    Here is a sample from one Rob Green –

    “I hope the people on here who defend wenger, the buying policy, song, denilson, diaby will now realize we are not as good as you think!! I am so pissed off!! wenger is a c*nt!! thats all I can say!! I am to angry to even talk about adebayor!! AKB’s when will admit than wenger does not know best!! We already have injury problems and lost two games!!!! and we have only played 6 games!!

    Its a fucking disgrace!! Wenger will never change!! SACK WENGER”

    It seems these people are happier to ignore the performances in question and are focusing purely on the last 2 results. In short they would as soon throw the baby out with the bath water.

    I am sick of seeing our club hamstrung by the division amongst the fans. We all want the same thing and whilst Wenger should not be above critique, this appallingly ungrateful, rude and shabby treatment of a manager who has worked minor miracles to take our club into the modern era – without bankrupting it – is nothing short of disgusting.

  9. in the first half, the game seemed real slow, but in the second half we were far superior. 4-2 is not a good representation of the match at all. what is the most surprising is that adebayor got man of the match. doesnt fair play or lack of count for anything?

    these last two defeats are sure to be good inspiration for the players. we have just been beaten by two very good teams, neither time because we were worse. Arsene now knows how good teams score against us, and he will use this info to block up the holes.

    the other posters (bar barry) have it right. we need to get some wins under our belts, points on the board and leave this past fortnight behind us.

  10. exactly 🙂 it s seem the last few weeks all arsenal blog were going quiet look after two defeats AWAY against a lucky champion and a stronger (than last year) man city squad and all doomsayers are back in force . good on them.
    i think most of us can see very clearly we are stronger than last year and don’t forget rosicky , eduardo , theo,arshavin ,vela are all back soon fulltime in first team so our season really start now with full strenght .
    jonny i stop reading the poor excuse of a blog “le groove”for some time now

  11. lordgunner me too – it’s just sometimes I feel the urge to see the other side of the coin.

    Let’s be clear though I love this site dearly I am not a full AKB fan. All leaders make mistakes and Wenger has many areas on which he needs to work – I have enormous respect him and think that he is the best man for the job.

    The good thing is on here we can have a decent conversation about the areas of contention without it denigrating into puny insults and aggression!

  12. Off target but has anyone else noticed that we have got more points /better goal difference from these 4 matches than we did last season?

    Almunia is as good a keeper as any in the premier league (which of course might still mean that he’s not much good) and I agree with others that Clichy could use a rest as he’s not playing up to his usual very high standard. As for yesterday if Adebayor had been sent off as he should have been for the foul on RvP when the score was 1-1, the outcome would have been very different.

  13. Yes Ken, once again the ref cost us points, like against United.
    A ban from the Fa would be fair as the ref didn’t seem to have seen the incident but it did cost us the game. Not forget afterwards he scored and saved a ball from the line.
    But I do not want to blame the ref it is possible that with the angle he had he didn’t or couldn’t see the incident. If I can stand it I will have a look on it and see where the ref was and see if he should have seen it or just closed his eyes.
    Like someone mentionnned the tackle within the first 10 minutes on Cesc was a very, very dangerous and the least should have been a yellow card because it was a lunch which could have broken the leg of Cesc.
    I must say, I never hate someone in general but have to admit that with all Adebayor did yesterday I think it wil take some 10 years time to ever give him credit for anything.

  14. On to your article: spot on stuartlondon.
    A shame it is burried under the City game… I confess…

  15. Meanwhile some “good”news from Standard. There captain Dufour is out for 3 months with an open fracture of his foot.
    Also Dalmat and De Camargo got knocks and are doubtfull. These are 3 of their experienced players.
    But Axel Witsel, the bone crusher, is allowed to play. Better watch out …

  16. just read arsenal insider blog..he clearly stated we’re broke n board doesn’t tell true financial conditions…we are earning from transfer windows from past few seasons..not investing them for making the club stronger..what conclusions does one makes out..we are broke and worst is yet to come…

  17. n tony, now iam also thinking on the notion that ur paid by boards to calm things out n paint a rosy picture…prove me wrong and give me an explanation why we haven’t bought significantly in past few seasons including this one except arshavin….

  18. Because Wenger and the board have put the money on an account in South America and are planning to leave us. sigh….
    And Tony is the man who can join them if he keeps up this blog. 😉

    Anup why don’t you ask that “arsenal insider blog” the opposite ? Maybe he is being payed by Usmanov to write those things ?

    Well anyway, I hope that if there is money left Tony will remember me. LOL. 😉

    LOL Sorry Tony but couldn’t resist it.

  19. walter,

    as a referee yourself,there is very little comment about Mark Clattenburg’s part in this match. What was your opinion of how he handled the match ? Especially the tackles on Cesc and RVP and the Barry handball. It is relevent as the game could have turned, if the ref had been a bit more consistent.

  20. Yes Adam, you are right.
    I thought about it but if I would have came back with another story on the things he done wrong maybe some persons would have said : “Here is that moaner again”.
    But when you ask… here I go:

    Clattenburg could have had a perfect day if he had booked Adebayor for his dangerous challenge against Cesc early on. You could see the vennon in the tackle, it was aimed at his leg-ankle an very very dangerous. Like I said before if Cesc would have kicked the ball the other way it would have been a leg breaking tackle. So a yellow card was the least Clattenburg should have given. Instead he talked with Adebayor. In my country they sometimes use the expression it was an orange card (yellow card but very close to red).
    For the rest I thought he was rather tolerant for challenges from City players. I remember when Song got kicket by 2 players and lost possesion because of that and when Song kicked Adebayor in frustratino he got booked. There where many simular incidents that I noticed. But then again this has sometimes to do with the angle you look at it.
    On the Van Persie incident : if you see a player lashing out with his foot towards an opponent this is always red. I must say I knew before that I had to look carefully because I saw that part of the game later on but in this case if the ref had seen it then he can be put in the same list like Dean. No ball in sight, kicking at a player : no excuse possible = dark red (as they call it in my country)
    The hand of God – Barry – in this case : it was a penalty. No doubt. He jumped up with his hands wide open and if you do this and the bal hits your arm= penalty. I must say that because of the congestion in the box the ref maybe couldn’t see it. There were several bodys between the ref and Barry. So I wont condem him but if he had seen it he should have given the penalty.
    So we can feel wrong done by some decisions, specially the incidents with Cesc en RVP, but I tend to forgive him the handball as I assume he didn’t see it.

  21. like to add on the RVP incident : it has to be red because he kicked him on his HEAD with intention. Kicking at someones FACE is red, red and another red.
    Professional football players know what they are doing and there is no excuse for doing what Adebayor did: this could have caused serious injury problems

  22. Stuartlondon, your article is so good that it allows for little, if any, dissent. Tony, this article is special, but many of the guest articles of late have been excellent.

    I suggest we ignore posters who come with “X, Y and Z are hopeless” posts.

    Not sure why Diaby was preferred to Eduardo as a forward in a 433 – I guess for some reason Lord Wenger didn’t want to start Eduardo. Nevertheless, of our eleven potential forwards, we have too many injured. Arshavin, Walcott, Vela and Nasri are injured; Eduardo and Rosicky are not fully fit; Wilshere will only start in the EPL in the second half of the season. This means that in the last two games we started Eboue and Diaby as forwards. And we still were the better team for both matches. Why are supporters so negative?

    Please allow me to hark back to a previous guest article. When Denilson was on the pitch, they scored from a set piece. Their other goals came after we took off Denilson.

    On a more negative note, I thought that Bellamy had a great game. His tracking back was an example for us.

  23. Cape gooner, I was thinking the same. I had hoped Robinho would have been fit because in that case city would have played with one defender less. Bellamy worked hard for the team and that wouldn’t have been the case with Robinho.

  24. And Adam if you like it I will try to give a refs view on the ref his performance. As objective as I can be.
    If we get a good ref who blows like it should be done… well maybe then it is time for me to make it noticed ? To let you see there are good and hones refereees ?
    I will inform with Tony if he thinks it would be suitable for his blog

  25. Thanks for the response walter. it’s not so much about ref’s being honest but being consistent.
    Nearly every game today the focus is on decisions being right or wrong as opposed to the actual football being played.Video technology just has to be introduced,for as long as it takes for both sides to argue a decision,a reply or multi replay can hopefully resolve the issue.

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