Is Eduardo’s two-match ban too harsh?

September 2, 2009

UEFA’s decision to hand Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva a two-match ban for diving has infuriated the Croatian media, many fans and national team coach Slaven Bilic.

“It is a shameful decision, especially in view of the fact that Eduardo personifies everything that’s decent in professional sport,” Bilic told Zagreb daily Vecernji List after learning the verdict.

Fans and media have gone to even greater length in defending the Brazilian-born Croatia striker, who has won the hearts and sympathy of his adopted country after recovering from a horrific leg break he suffered in Arsenal’s Premier League match at Birmingham in February 2008.

The sense of injustice in Croatia wasn’t helped by last weekend’s injury suffered by Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric, who faces up to six weeks on the sidelines after breaking his leg in a league match with Birmingham (again).

Croatia’s leading sports website,, had harsh words.

“Eduardo has been punished in a most detestable manner, supposedly so that justice is done, while justice was deaf, dumb and blind only 18 months earlier when he was in bed with his ankle shattered and his career hanging by a thread,” the website said.

Is Eduardo a victim of double standards, or simply his own ill-judged decision to go down rather easily after minimum or no contact with the goalkeeper?

PHOTO: Croatia manager Slaven Bilic speaks with Luka Modric (L) and Eduardo Da Silva (R) during a training session at Poljud stadium in Split, February 5, 2008. Reuters stringer photo.


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I want to believe that UEFA is now going to use video evidence to punish players for fouls committed and then escaping punishment in every sanctioned match. If deem it fit to do that then I believe ther is no problem but if it stops after Eduardo then I think it will be selective justice.Players dive on regular basis in games, so if they will pursue such a cause then the better it will be for the game.

Posted by francis a. erzuah | Report as abusive

[…] leading sports website,, had harsh […]

Posted by Is Eduardo’s two-match ban too harsh? – Posted In English Premier League | Soccer News Info – Soccer News Info | Report as abusive

I’ve got no doubt that Eduardo dived, he was expecting a touch which the keeper did well to avoid and was already to go down like 100 of forwards all over the globe, but I can’t understand what made his dive more special than the countless others seen all over Europe. Some of these have been critical to games not 3/4 of the way through a 2 legged champions league QUALIFIER that Arsenal where winning quite comfortably (don’t be fooled by Tony Mowbry’s post match interview Celtic were never in it or getting back in to it, the game was all but over) . What made UEFA take this particular dive and put it up there as the most heinous dive ever? Scottish influence, anti English, anti Arsenal – possibly, anti diving – probably didn’t even enter their heads? One thing for sure it’s not the worst dive you’ll see this season in fact it wasn’t the worst dive we saw this week? UEFA (and big brother FIFA) seem to be more about themselves than the good of the game, this decision was driven by revenge on one player not looking at the problem of simulation as a whole. It will be interesting to see how other cases are now treated.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

its harsh in the fact he is being made an example of, never has a player been punished this way for diving in the past, i seem to remember rivaldo being fined when he went down like he had been shot in the world cup but i dont remember him being banned for the offence, its uefas way of making a point much like the f.a did banning rio ferdinand for missing a drugs test, unfortunatley though this punishment for eduardo will definatley NOT stop diving within the game

Posted by maid | Report as abusive

We already know UEFA aren’t going to apply this rule equally across the board. The next day in the Europa Qualifiers Ashley young won not one but two very dubious penalties?! is he going to be tried? I don’t think so!!! This is hardly justice and only backs up AW’s statement of this being a trial by media, which essentially it was. UEFA only acted because of the media otherwise they would have done nothing.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

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Posted by Reuters Soccer Blog » Blog Archive » Is Eduardo's two-match ban … | Croatia today | Report as abusive

I must admit the same thought occurred to me, John. This was a slow news day, the story was all over the 24 hour news channels in the UK, and UEFA jumped on it. There are scored of these incidents every matchday, aren’t there?

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

I think UEFA is setting a bad precedence, if Eduardo is punished for diving what of the referee and the linesmen? should they be left unpunished? why is uefa closing their eyes to some questionable decisions made by referees, like the guy that officiated in chelsea/Barca game in d last champions league semis. If uefa is sanctionin players for diving, then referees should also be sanctioned for biased officiating. QED.

Posted by olayinka, | Report as abusive

Very silly. If Eduardo had been called a diver by the ref at the time, he would have ended up with a yellow card for diving and you wouldnt have heard not one story about this on the net. Yet becasue the ref handed out a penalty he gets a 2 match ban and destroyed by every hack with a computer. Players getting punished for ref errors……….. very poor.

Posted by Kranjcar | Report as abusive

If he dived, then a two match ban sounds fine to me. Just because others have got away with it doesn’t mean he should as well. If this is the start of a crackdown on diving then so much the better. It seems to me that logic and ethics are lacking from the arguments presented here and elsewhere. Please do better!

Posted by Dan frown | Report as abusive

I just hope that UEFA will be consistent with future simulations, would be interesting to see how they’ll maintain this crackdown.

Posted by wllmhll | Report as abusive

I think the answer to the original question is Yay and Nay. Yes it’s harsh especially as the punishment would’ve been significantly less severe had the referee taken appropriate action from his well placed vantage point. No, on the other hand, as he used play acting to manipulate the game at what really was a pivotal point, Had Celtic scored first it would’ve changed the demeanour of the match and arsenal would’ve fallen to bits at the back ( ref Ars v Man U the following sunday ) Instead they became comfortable and strolled away. This was all on the back of Eduardo’s cheating and he should rightly be taught a lesse. Mr Wenger should also be ashamed of himself as the old, “I didn’t see it” line just doesn’t cut it. If you want to be know as a manager who wins things as a cheat then I hope you can sleep well knowing your a fraud.

Posted by the enlightened one | Report as abusive

To be perfectly honest, if UEFA wanted to totally get rid of diving, surely a two match ban is not harsh enough. How much will Arsenal benefit from getting through to the next round…

Posted by Ash | Report as abusive

two match is not harsh but let see what uefa do when cristiano ronaldo(we know that he will definitely do) or some players from italy or spain dive this season.

Posted by siva-india | Report as abusive

It is totally correct where it is as clear a cut decision on the video reply. The problem i see is what do you deem to be contact significant enough to cause someone to fall down. That is the grey area and the interpretation of that. Bring in the same review system as we have in cricket and rugby and all the grey areas will become totally clear.

Posted by alexander | Report as abusive

Edwardo should never have been punished at all because he did not dive. It should be remembered that he just returned from a year-long injury. He appeared to anticipate a tackle and took evasive action. If he had planted his legs on the ground and the Celtic goalie slip against them and injure him, he would be saying sorry, which doesn’t heal anything.Players are humans and can genuinely fall without trying to get a penalty. It should only be call a dive if someone falls without being touched and actually persuades a referee to give a penalty.Players should take evasive action from being injured without the Scots talking down their self-appointed “moral high grounds”.

Posted by Lami | Report as abusive