UEFA Open a Can of Dudu

Eduardo has been retroactively charged by UEFA for “deceiving the referee” and I, for one, would like to embrace this charge but only under the following conditions.

First, you’ll need to have some context. The relevant rule is Article 10, Paragraph 1c of UEFA’s disciplinary handbook. It states:

Players may be suspended for two competition matches, or for a specified period, for acting with the obvious intent to cause any match official to make an incorrect decision or supporting his error of judgment and thereby causing him to make an incorrect decision.

That’s pretty clear, if you dive to win a penalty, UEFA can go back and look at the video tape and give you a two-match ban, or more. Interestingly, this has actually been tested by UEFA: Saulius Mikoliunas missed two Euro 2008 matches for home country Lithuania after video evidence was used to prove he dived against, of all countries, Scotland in their 3-1 win. Evidently, Scotland suffers from the indignity of divers more than any other country.

The Mikoliunas dive is a bit different than Eduardo’s dive in that the match against Scotland was 1-0 at the time of the dive and the contact between Mikoliunas and the Scottish defender even less than the contact between Eduardo and Boruc. Mikoliunas dived at a crucial moment, in a crucial match and earned his team a penalty. Eduardo’s dive was no where near as crucial. But, again, I’m embracing this action and in fact I don’t think it goes far enough.

Now that we’re headed down the road of video replay I think that all sorts of simulation should be examined and I think retroactive bans for all acts of simulation in UEFA sanctioned matches should be imposed: whether they resulted in a penalty or just a free kick. As long as the player’s actions resulted in the referee making a wrong decision, UEFA should examine the tapes, and ban the offending player for two or more games.

Ryan Babel’s dive in the Champions League? Clear simulation, the referee was duped, Liverpool didn’t do anything to deny the penalty, therefore he gets a 2 match retroactive ban. To do anything less would be harsh on Arsenal since up to now the penalty for diving has ranged from the ref ignoring the infraction to a yellow card.

And as I have said many times before, I would even go further. It’s easy to wipe out plain old fashioned diving. The kind where video replays show that there was no contact and the player was already on his way down. The hard stuff, and the more important infractions, are the ones where the player “makes a meal” of light contact. So, under my plan, the Mascherano/Aliadiere incident, had it taken place in a UEFA sanctioned event, would see Javier Mascherano suspended for two games for simulation, maybe more since he’s a serial offender. There’s no way that Liverpool’s hard man goes down with the supposed facial injuries he intimated after Aliadiere brushes his face like that. It’s was an obviously exaggerated reaction intended to dupe the referee into thinking the contact was harder than it actually was and since the referee gave the red card to Aliadiere, the simulation must be punished.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about how it doesn’t make any sense that diving on video is a 2+ match ban while diving in real life usually results in the referee waving play on and occasionally, I’m talking maybe 2 times a year, the referee will hand out a yellow card. So, since we’re all in agreement that referees are incapable of making real time decisions, and what we want is the perfectly fair game, and we want to stamp out this pernicious cheating; we need to just go ahead and after every match use video to issue retroactive yellow and red cards for dives that DO NOT result in deception of the referee. After every UEFA sanctioned match there should be a team of Video Referees watching every moment of every game rewinding, and watching over and over, the match action. Issuing yellow or red cards for harsh tackles that went unpunished and yellow or red cards for simulations that went unpunished. After all, what we can’t have are instant replays and decisions made on the spot. We can only use video days or even weeks after the match, to re-referee the matches and dole out the appropriate punishment.

I’m not suggesting that we should go back to time immemorial, just a year, or hell, even 6 months. If we did that, Ryan Babel would be out for 2 matches and I’m sure if we look at all the video, Christiano Rolando won’t be allowed to play in the Champions League at all this season.

Tony Cascarino agrees with me and we all know what a fan I am of him. Tony thinks that the only way to stamp out this cheating is to look at video ex-post-facto. Because only a crazy person would suggest that it would be fairer for the match official, say the fourth official, to go over to a monitor and see that Eduardo dived and then (on the spot) issue a yellow card. No! What we need is for a game altering decision to be made after the match and for the punishment to be far harsher. Simulation, after all, is too important to get right on the spot.

I mean, if we’re going to retroactively ban people using video replay, let’s do it right.  Let’s let one team win the game and THEN go back and start banning people. It’s the only fair thing to do.

66 Comments on UEFA Open a Can of Dudu

  1. Spot on. I cannot believe UEFA are so short sighted as to not realize what a can of worms they’re opening. Can they really be this naive?

  2. When there is so obviously so much diving going on it makes Eduardo’s charge even more ludicrous, have a look at these?!?!

  3. While the call was definitely debatable, erring on the side of a no-penalty, handing down a two game ban is somewhat obsene. Will they go and hand suspensions to Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Kaka when (not a question of if, but when) they dive? UEFA has found in Eduardo a low profile good player that they could slap on a suspension without a vicious public backlash that the previous 3 players I mentioned would have warranted.

    Also, I read on Reuters.uk that Cesc is out tomorrow? Any truth to that?

  4. Utter crap from UEFA: it’s their usual ‘if it’s worth doing then it’s doing it half-arsedly’.

    Cesc out tomorrow? I’m kind of expecting it to be honest…

  5. and it has just been announced that before the match at old trafford tomorrow Eduardo will be formally stripped, flogged, de-bollocked and finally hanged before baying crowds of press and tv pundits most of whom will be wearing white hoods. As an encore Wayne Rooney will pluck a small boy from the crowd and bugger him on the stage to rounds of modest applause from the same audience and shouts of ‘aww look, it shows he is so passionate about the game’

  6. EUFA is playing with fire with this one. They are opening more than a can of worms and they are more likely to get their fingers burnt very badly.

    Since when do we allow the press to re-referee matches? I wait to see where they go with this one. Very dangerous territory.

  7. Context is completely irrelevant. A dive is a dive is a dive

    it doesn’t matter if it’s 5-0. The idea is to eradicate diving from the game. You’re not going to have any chance of doing that if you show leniency just because one particular dive was less relevant the result of a game than another.

    A dive is a dive. They are all cheats.

    And blaming the refs for not catching more dives during live action is absurd. The dives are meant to deceive. And, duh, it usually works in real time

    • @Roy, You’re right, a dive is a dive. So why hasn’t every other dive that has been completely obvious when viewed on video been dealt with in a similar fashion? I’m guessing there have been many times a player has dived to win a penalty/free kick since UEFA has made that rule but I haven’t heard of 2 mtach bans being handed out for them.

      • @Nathan, it’s an excellent question, and they should be handing out these bans like Tic-tacs

        but I don’t think it’s some anti-Arsenal conspiracy. And the absence of a correct reaction by UEFA previously doesn’t justify not having it handed out here

        • Roy, consider this an open invitation to come back here after each weekend to express your indignation over each player that dives over the weekend. We’d welcome that.

          • @ArseChicago, I can’t believe how defensive you guys are about this. He dives for all the world to see to get a penalty, in a Champions League game that the whole world is watching. On top of that, it was completely unnecessary, from the standpoint of Arsenal winning.

            These guys don’t even consider the context when they dive. It’s in their DNA. They can’t shut it off. The only way to stop diving is to humiliate these clowns. All of them.

            Stop being so defensive just because this particular situation involves a guy wearing your favorite laundry.

            It’s unfortunate that this one is putting the heat on Eduardo because even the most avid anti-Arsenalite has to respect what this guy has overcome. But it happened.

            It’s not the refs fault. It’s not UEFA’s fault. It’s not the Scottish FA’s fault. It’s Eduardo’s fault.

          • We’re defensive, you’re evasive. I asked you among others why you spend your time here, but you, like the others, never answered. So I ask the question, why are you here? Me? I’m here because I love Arsenal and love talking about Arsenal with others.

          • @Roy, It’s UEFA’s fault for trying to live in the 1950s. Wenger, among others, has been one of the strongest proponents of technology in order to aid referees in their duties on the field. With this incident now we can call all manner of crocked calls, stall the game and turn football into a drama. Everything from a penalty to a throw-in now seems grounds for retrospective review because it seems UEFA can now overturn referees’ decisions so why should we trust anything the referee says? Of course I’m being fanatical but I’m also playing devil’s advocate and any manager with half a brain can see where I’m going with this. If the governing bodies can simply say the ref is wrong then what is going to stop managers for appealing everything on the planet?

            UEFA has acted poorly in their timing of punishing diving because it is under the particular circumstances that have shown they are a mediocre organization. It seems that if you put enough pressure on them, they will cave into just about anything. The media is now a powerful tool for getting what you want out of FIFA or UEFA.

  8. Tired of the diving discussion; time to move on. We’re fricking playing Man U tomorrow; the fact that we have some Man U folks on this blog should be a reminder of that match tomorrow. Anyway, I did see Cesc was called up for the nat’l team, so I’d like to see confirmation that his not playing tomorrow gives him automatic reprieve from int’l duty. Definitely a blow to our side, as I thought we looked quite sloppy last match without him in the lineup. As a result, I think we go back to 442, with Arshavin and RvP up front, the regular back 4, and Diaby/Deni/Song/Eboue in the middle. Personally I want Jack Wilshere to make the shock start tomorrow wide right, but I don’t think Wenger will indulge me that wish. Gonna be a tough one.

  9. As an Arsenal fan I was embarrassed by Eduardo’s dive and don’t disagree with the charge – so long as all diving is treated in the same manner (which of course it isn’t). So the question is why is he being singled out? Perhaps because of the Press campaign or maybe the Scottish F.A has officially complained? I don’t know, but what I do know is that this is opening a can of worms – especially if Arsene carries through with his threat to “challenge every decision’.
    By the way aren’t all Premiership and Football League games, by extension, “UEFA sanctioned games” and therefore reviewable with the same potential punishment as Eduardo is open to? This could casue a hell of a problem for those authorities if, for the sake of fairness, they are required to follow UEFA’s lead, but don’t hopld your breath.

  10. @Roy,

    Absolutely it does. Mikoliunas’s ban has been upheld since September 2007. In the two years since that incident and not one single player has been retroactively banned using video tape despite numerous examples of cheating. No one has even received a retroactive yellow card. And a yellow card is exactly what this offence should be.

    This is a case of UEFA moving the goal posts AFTER the fact. If they came out at the start of this season and said “OK, we’re going to start reviewing tapes and blatant dives will receive two match bans” I don’t think a single person would be against this action. We might question why they don’t use instant replay to give a yellow instead, but if they set the rule we’d pretty much all be behind it.

    But they aren’t doing that, instead, they are changing the way the rules have been applied for the last two years and “making an example” of Eduardo. And they are doing it exactly because it’s Arsenal. Arsenal are a big enough team that this ban will have its intended effect; make it look like they are actually doing something. It’s also perfect because while it looks like they are doing something they are simultaneously not doing anything. They aren’t saying that this it is going to become de rigouer to examine tapes after a match and all offenders will receive a 2 match ban. Nor are they going to end this once and for all and have instant replays where an official can make a call in the game when it really matters. Just the opposite, there will be more officials making more mistakes! This is less about diving and more about UEFA pretending to do something about a serious problem.

    If your Boy Ronaldo had been made an example of in those ensuing two years, Man U supporters would be crying foul as well and you know it. I know, you’re a high minded idealist and of course you wouldn’t be crying foul because you believe only in “justice” and an end to the shame of simulation. That’s why you’re going to make a petition to retroactively ban all simulators for the last two years, right? Because you care so much about diving.

    You’re being used by Platini and company here. They won’t stamp out simulation, Platini himself was a cheat! This is just like the “respect” campaign and how it didn’t stop Rooney from bringing the game into disrepute every time a call goes against him. The respect campaign was a massive failure by all accounts, sure a few flags were waived, a couple of players were sent off, and now, two years on, Rooney and Cole are still making a mockery of officials.

    In two year’s time, divers and fakers will still be around. But hey, like I say, let’s ban Eduardo and when your precious United players drop like the cheating cunts they are I’ll be on your United blogs saying “justice for Eduardo” over and over.

    • @Tim, yesterday you accuse me of being a Hoops fan. Today it’s “my boy Ronaldo”

      make up your fucking mind

      You are correct that the inconsistency is absurd. What they’re doing to Eduardo is what they should have been doing all along. Let’s hope they start being consistent now, because you have to start somewhere

      As to ArseChicago’s obsessive need to know “why am I here” rather than addressing the actual content of my posts, the answer is that I love soccer, particularly English and particularly European and, while I disagree with him on this issue, I find the writer of this particular blog to be entertaining in both his take on these issues and his passion for the game and his club

      Fucking sue me

      • Yes, I’m obsessive. About as obsessive as you for coming here now two days in a row to belabor your points about Eduardo. Again, as a lover of European football, hopefully you will come back here and express your anger at other diving incidents throughout the year. Maybe you can set an example for the rest of the media members as to how much they should be making news of each and every dive.

        • @ArseChicago, reading a blog for two days in a row!!!! I’m practically a stalker

          That’s some crazy shit, reading and discussing a specific post two days in a row

          Crazy. I wonder why I keep bring Eduardo up…I must be obsessed.

          • Tit for tat, I asked you why you’re here twice and you used the term “obsessive”. I can’t do the same? Roy, Roy, Roy. And here I thought you were going to be our champion for consistency. You’ve shaken everything I believe in now.

        • @Tim, you can choose to believe me or not, but the following statement is ABSOLUTE FACT:

          I have never posted anything on this blog until yesterday. Never.

          But I am a United fan

          • @Roy,

            That’s odd because your IP address coincidentally posted on this blog on two different occasions prior to this incident:

            Anonymous
            24.62.xxx.xxx
            Submitted on 2009/06/11 at 1:37pm

            holy fuck, Arsenal fans are whiny cunts

            roy
            24.62.xxx.xxx
            Submitted on 2009/05/05 at 1:04pm

            It’s fitting that, mere days away from becoming an English citizen, Manuel Almunia would turn into Paul Robinson. Fabio Capello must be hanging himself

            roy
            24.62.xxx.xxx
            Submitted on 2009/05/05 at 12:04pm

            pwned

            Also, those are all, even more coincidentally, ManUre threads.

            Must be my imagination.

            Maybe you’re secretly an Arsenal fan! Don’t worry I won’t tell your ManU buddies on Facebook.

          • @ArseChicago, I made a mistake…I admit it. Sorry I didn’t remember a post I made in May. Huge conspiracy

            I told you I’ve been a fan of the blog…I didn’t remember posting

  11. As to your content, Roy, I agree that a dive is a dive and that it’s cheating and it needs to be fixed. As I wrote yesterday, which I had hoped would’ve been the end of it, I said the same thing. That wasn’t enough for the likes of you apparently? What else do you want from us Arsenal supporters here? What do you want to know? Learn? Hear? You say the policing of cheating has to start somewhere. We agree, but forgive us, if you will, for raising our eyebrows at people deciding that this is their “come to Jesus” moment. So, you’re a fan of European football and you like this blog. Great. Any fan of European football knows that their supporters will defend their club. If that surprises you, then you’ve been under a rock most likely.

    • @ArseChicago, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that I run this blog and that I keep posting stories about Eduardo’s dive.

      Sorry if you were confused about that.

      I understand the instinct to defend your favorite club. What I don’t understand is the need to distort reality

      • Reality? You said “it needs to start somewhere”. Logically, I interpret this as you believing that diving hasn’t been taken seriously before and that this should now be the time. All we’re saying is that, yes, policing diving does need to start somewhere, but it’s very interesting how this has seemed to us to garner a lot more attention than past diving incidents we’re all familiar with. The vast majority of people here aren’t disputing that Eduardo dived or that diving is bad or that diving shouldn’t be punished. Those same people, however, are wondering how the media has decided to now “distort the reality” of this Eduardo incident vis-a-vis past diving incidents. Have you been posting in other spaces in the past railing against diving incidents akin to Eduardo? If not, then you’ve basically done what the media’s done in this case.

        • And, too, what are you hoping to learn about European football here today, Roy? I’m here to listen to other Arsenal supporters and their views on what will happen tomorrow. Maybe if you tell us what else you specifically want to read about European football, we can better tailor our posts and obsessive rants to better suit your needs.

          • I invite respectful disagreement as well, but forgive me for being a little suspicious of the ability of a United supporter to come on here and debate with reason and in good faith a mere day before the match. Not buying your sincerity. Hopefully none of the Arsenal supporters here go to United sites and try to instigate for the sport of it. Not very cool.

        • @ArseChicago, I haven’t posted anywhere about anything, but I have long thought and said that diving is to soccer what steroids is to baseball. It’s cheating that, up until recently, everyone in power seemed to be okay with.

          As a United fan, I never once tried to defend Ronaldo diving (or anyone else, for that matter). It practically ruined what was, otherwise, a hell of a run for the club. He should’ve been nailed, retroactively or otherwise, for the bullshit he pulled

          And the whinging at the refs should be held in equal contempt. Rooney, Ashley Cole, practically all of Serie A, they need to be railed

      • @Roy, Hey Roy what is up w/ your homies at the Republik of Mancunia blog. I posted over there on the Eduardo ‘dive’. Unlike you, I stated in my first sentence that I was a Gooner. My comments went to moderation, were displayed briefly and then they were consigned to the internet ozone. They’ve got some pretty thin skins over there unlike us, eh?

  12. Tim, great job today as always. I suppose when I next check back here Sunday morning, I’ll have a good guess as to who will be on here should United beat us. Up the Arse! Have a great weekend, gooners.

  13. you guys should probably make this site password protected to keep the undesirables out

    or you could just perform background checks on everyone dares to disagree or *gasp* root for a different team

    great stuff

  14. Dang me let’s get a rope and string the damned horse thief up right now! We don’t need no sheriff!

    Worse than a can of worms.

    Whereas It may be acceptable for the authorities to instruct referees to hand out stiffer penalties for simulation, it is not the place of EUFA or any other controlling body to act as a kangaroo court.

    Everyone has shouted ‘dive!’ but was it. Everyone seems so keen to accept what the press and pundits say. Like I said yesterday, did anyone see Dudu roll over twenty times, clutch various parts of his body, throw an almighty tantrum, chase the referee up and down the pitch. no you didn’t! Neither did any of the Arsenal players, unlike, Chelski and Mancs Untied, who are forever in the ref’s face, for the most trivial offences.

    In fact Dudu and the team looked as surprised as the Celtic players.

    One things for sure no team winning a penalty is going to chase the ref, and say ‘oh no you got that wrong, we can’t possibly have a penalty!’

    We all have occasion to dislike ref’s decisions, whether they are plain mistaken, too harsh, or too lenient. But someone has to be the arbiter on the spot, and at that moment. If he believes a player is diving, or just as bad, feigning injury to get another player booked then let the referee act firmly and impartialy, and where necessary red card the offender.

    (Incidentally if a player goes down injured, whether real or feigned, and has to leave the pitch, maybe they should have to stay off the pitch for 5 minutes, to ensure that the injury is properly investigated and treated?)

    Viva!

  15. I just realized, that banning Eduardo would be of great benefit to Arsenal, he’s still not considered a player on our best starting 11, so he won’t be missed for two group games. Plus if he does get banned, it means we will have the Eduardo card, basically no player will ever get away with diving against Arsenal ever again in the champions league.

    We can now cry foul and have players banned every single time.

  16. No waiting for someone to dive, the 1st can of worms will open this weekend:

    On corners or set pieces, how many times do defenders grab/ hold the jersey of the man they are marking inside the penalty area? It is NEVER called and yet the law is clear – holding is a direct free kick outside the penalty area & a penalty kick is awarded when the infraction occurs inside the PA.

    Watch any replay by any network. Its so prevalent on corners and free kicks. Managers and clubs will have conclusive evidence that the defender cheated in defending. The official missed the infraction which would have resulted in a PK.

    Or

    FIFA might step in & tell UEFA to get its sh*t together and knock off the ludicrous decision, slap Eduardo’s hand & place him on probation.

  17. I agree with everything you say but I cannot see why ‘diving’ is considered such a heinous crime, when all other forms of cheating are brushed aside. Last night, I saw Micah Richards put his arm around the neck of a Crystal Palace striker, who had a chance of scoring, and pull him to the ground. So, he cheated to prevent a goal being scored; in my book, that is no different to diving to get a penalty. So, why wasn’t there an outcry about that and why isn’t his case being examined retrospectively? What about Utaka on Saturday? Tripping himself up (an age old striker’s trick)and then screaming for a penalty, is far worse than Edu’s ‘crime’ but the media tried to pin that on Arsenal too.

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