Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Is Eduardo’s two-match ban too harsh?

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).