Eduardo could face two-match ban for diving

MONACO - Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva could be banned for two European matches if UEFA decides he was guilty of diving to win a penalty against Celtic in Wednesday's Champions League qualifier.

The Brazilian-born Croat went down after poking the ball past Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who dived at his feet but appeared to make no contact with the striker, in the first half of their second-leg encounter at the Emirates on Wednesday.

The score was 0-0 at the time, with Eduardo converting the ensuing penalty which Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger later said should not have been awarded. The London club eventually won 5-1 over the two legs.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith said he wanted UEFA to punish Eduardo for what he said was a dive, prompting the president of European football's governing body, Michel Platini, to add his view.

Platini told a news conference in Monaco, the venue for Thursday's Champions League group stage draw: "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."

UEFA has previously handed out two-match bans for players found guilty of diving.

Platini was speaking after launching his experiment to have five officials in charge at Europa League matches this season with an Additional Assistant Referee (AAR) beside each goal to help the match referee decide if diving has occurred or the ball gone over the goal line.

"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," Platini said.


"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."

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

Earlier Smith said Eduardo had shown "disrespect to the game by his actions in winning a penalty against Celtic.

"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," he added.

Wenger, whose side had secured a 2-0 first leg victory at Celtic Park on August 18, said Spanish referee Manuel Mejuto should not have awarded the penalty.

"I do not go as far as to say Eduardo dived. He went down, for what reason I do not know. Having seen it again on television, it doesn't look a penalty," he told reporters.

"I do not think he (Eduardo) would have complained if the penalty was not given."