Celtic call for Eduardo to be handed European ban

Striker lambasted for his shocking dive as Arsenal seal Champions League place
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The Independent Football

The Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati demanded that Eduardo da Silva, the Arsenal striker, be banned by Uefa for cheating in the wake of his shocking dive last night. The Croatian international conned the Spanish referee to win the penalty from which he scored the first goal in Arsenal's 3-1 victory.

The win took Arsenal into today's Champions League draw for the group stages in Monaco with a 5-1 aggregate win but left a sour taste. Donati said that Eduardo should be treated the same way as Lithuania striker Saulius Mikoliunas who cheated to win a penalty against Scotland at Hampden Park in September 2007. He was tried on video evidence by Uefa and given a two-match ban.

Donati said: "If it is clear on TV then Uefa must act against Eduardo and ban him. I think he should get a two-match ban because it wasn't a penalty. I told him that and everyone in the Celtic team told him that."

Donati scored a late consolation for Celtic after Emmanuel Eboué and Andrei Arshavin had added two more goals to Eduardo's penalty. Arsène Wenger claimed that the incident, in which Eduardo pretended that goalkeeper Artur Boruc had fouled him, was neither a penalty nor a dive. He also intimated that because of the horrific compound fracture to his leg that Eduardo sustained against Birmingham City in February 2007, he was more likely to jump out of challenges.

Wenger said: "I believe that it was not a penalty but I'm not sure that the keeper didn't touch him with his right knee, having seen it again. And I believe that Eduardo as well, with what happened to him [the injury in February 2008], I am a bit cautious...

"He might have jumped out of the way as well, so you have to speak to him. I don't think he would have complained if the penalty was not given but did he want to get out of the way of the keeper? I have to ask him. I haven't spoken to him yet. Is it acceptable? I never asked in my life any guy to dive to win a penalty but sometimes, the players go down because there is no other way to escape the tackling of the keeper. Sometimes they dive.

"Look, we got a penalty against us two years ago in the quarter-final of the Champions League [against Liverpool] that made the difference when [Ryan] Babel dived, nobody ever apologised to us. It was a blatant dive and nobody spoke about it."

The Celtic defender Glenn Loovens was in no doubt that Eduardo dived to win the penalty. "I don't think he [Eduardo] even speaks English so there was no point talking to him. It is very disappointing but that is football. It's sad it happened to us, I don't think it is really fair. But it helped his team take the lead, there is a referee and a linesman to see those kind of things."