Uefa review Eduardo incident

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The Independent Online

Arsenal striker Eduardo could face a two-match Champions League ban after UEFA announced they are reviewing the incident where he won a penalty against Celtic last night.

UEFA disciplinary officials will decide tomorrow whether he will be charged with diving - Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith has already called for action against the Croatian international.

A UEFA spokesman told Press Association Sport: "We are reviewing the match to see whether a disciplinary investigation should be launched."

Under UEFA rules, if charged and found guilty Eduardo could face sanctions up to a two-match ban in European competition as a Lithuanian player was given that punishment in 2007 after a complaint from the SFA.

UEFA president Michel Platini confirmed he could be suspended and said his plan of having two additional assistant referees (AARs), one next to each goal, would cut down on diving.

Platini, speaking in Monaco, said: "There are disciplinary procedures at UEFA and the procedure could be taken to suspend the player.

"Scotland often start such procedures - last time it was a Lithuania player who was sanctioned."

He added: "One day players will give up simulating because referees will see them. For years players have cheated because the referees were not of a good enough quality.

"I am convinced if you have referees close by that will prevent players from simulating and players will take the right decision. I have always said better to have more referees than a multiplication of disciplinary procedures."

The two extra officials will be seen in this season's Europa League, and will linked to the referee by microphone. They will be positioned three metres from each goal and will go on to the pitch up to the edge of the penalty area when play is at the other end.

If the trial is successful, the International FA Board meeting in March could make the system universal in top matches from next season.

SFA chief Smith wants UEFA to act retrospectively to punish the Eduardo in the same way they dealt with Lithuania striker Saulius Mikoliunas, who dived to earn a spot-kick against Scotland at Hampden Park in September 2007.

Video evidence was used to sanction Mikoliunas, who was banned for two matches.

Smith said: "Eduardo is a terrific player who has battled back from a serious injury to resume playing at the highest level.

"However, last night he showed disrespect to the game by his actions in winning a penalty against Celtic.

"Since I came into this post, I have raised the issue of simulation time and time again - both here in Scotland and with FIFA and UEFA.

"I don't think that I have received enough support in my efforts to eradicate what I believe to be one of the most serious threats to the integrity of football. Last night showed exactly why we must take this issue seriously.

"We have shown the courage to use retrospective punishment when it comes to simulation and I would urge UEFA to do so in this instance. Everything that can be done to stamp it out must be done - starting right now.

"Last night's incident also brings the whole issue of video evidence to the fore.

"I see absolutely no reason at all why we cannot use technology to assist referees - particularly in live games."

Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati also called for Eduardo to be banned.

"If it is clear on TV then UEFA must act against Eduardo and ban him," said Donati.

"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."

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger acknowledged Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc did not bring down Eduardo in the penalty incident but claimed his forward was taking evasive action.

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