Ok, on the day of the most important match into our new season, we are facing a new rule that is going to be passed down by the UEFA Football Governing Body on their determination to clamp down diving incidents in order to preserve the image of professional football. If truly Eduardo is handed a 2 match ban, UEFA has officially announced the “open door” of controversy that according to Arsene, “every single decision made by the referee can now be challenged.” Too bad the ever consistent star performer of the league, Ronaldo has left for Madrid or else he will offer the perfect insight into whether the new “Eduardo Ruling” could been reinforced.
This incidence has sparked all sorts of reactions from within the sporting arena, from managers, players and fans’ point of view. And I shall seek to investigate the validity of this charge along with the future repercussions of this incident.
According to the UEFA body, Eduardo will be charged under Article 10 para 1c of the UEFA disciplinary regulations (Misconduct of players): 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 judgement and thereby causing him to make an incorrect decision. From this charge, it opens up the debate around 2 main perspectives, mainly the act of ‘diving’ and footballing terms on whether the penalty should be given:
1) Eduardo is guilty of play-acting, in other words diving.
2) The “obvious” intent to deceive the official in making the incorrect judgment.
Eduardo is guilty of play-acting, in other words diving
Alright, we are staring at the cold hard accusation from the world critics that our most unfortunate yet world class player, Eduardo has dived in a match to earn a penalty. Media and critics are quick to condemn our world class player as a ‘diver’ in the same category of Gerrald, Rooney, Ronaldo, Babel and the list goes on; “World class” not only in the football skills but also in their play acting skills. We, die hard gooners are equally quick to jump in defense of our honest player by citing past ‘crimes’ that went unpunished and the past grievances we have suffered when penalty are awarded against us that has effectively ended our unbeaten run (defeat against Man United) as well as Champions League quarter final (defeat against Liverpool).
Many, including Arsene himself, have cited the horrific leg injury of Eduardo, which has since sidelined him for a year, as a frail attempt to protect himself against further injury in breaking his fall. Moreover, any form of minimal contact will be enough to floor a player especially when Eduardo is going into the challenge at such great speed.
From my personal view, I have to agree that Eduardo did dive. But I have my own reservation between a player who dives and a player who play acts to earn a penalty. For those sympathetic fans out there, no matter how much injustice we have suffered in the past, we have to confess that Eduardo indeed took a dive. However, to my understanding, the horrific leg break 1 year ago does have some psychological impact on him subconsciously and he merely took a dive to protect himself. But towards the accusation that he did that to earn a penalty, I will fiercely refute those claims. If we have watched the video carefully, he definitely does not intend to earn a penalty and of course, not trying to deceive the referee in giving a penalty. I believe in the integrity and honesty of Eduardo. He does not need to resort to those dirty play acts to score a goal. He is, frankly, too good for that. And to brand him as a “cheat” is a step too far as he has too many supporters who will die to defend his integrity such as Slaven Bili?, Luka Modric to name a few.
The “obvious” intent to deceive the official in making the incorrect judgment
So the “obvious” intent to deceive the official is totally not justifiable. Nevertheless, UEFA has made the charge believing that their very own official indeed has made an incorrect judgment in awarding the penalty. So much so for the campaign to demand respect for officials’ decision on the field. And this conclusion has effectively ended the debate of “whether the penalty should be awarded a not?”
If UEFA is making use of this opportunity to revive their faltering reputation and to think by putting Arsenal to the sword is to declare that the football governing bodies will not bow down to those European big clubs, I would think this effort will be futile and it could invite more future problems than its first anticipated.
No wonder Arsene is fuming, this is what he’s got to say:
‘I’ve fought my whole life against cheating and I’ve seen some obvious cases where Uefa didn’t intervene. On and off the pitch things have happened where no action was taken.’
‘But now the existing rules of football have been changed just for one case so we will from now on challenge every single decision that is made in Europe by the referees. This is the first time since I’ve been in football that the judgment made by the referee is not accepted by the football bodies.
‘They’ve opened the door to every single decision made by a referee can now be challenged. They’ve opened a very dangerous door.’
‘A very dangerous door’ to open indeed. Arsene might be fuming, but other club managers might be sniffing at the chances to refute any controversial refereeing decisions in future matches. Should UEFA decided to pass down the 2 match ban to Eduardo, this could potentially introduce the new ‘Eduardo’s Ruling’ to football bosses that they could effectively use this new ruling to question the referee decisions on the pitch. So to swallow the pride or to expose your governing bodies to more controversies of reviewing every referee decisions week in week out? So the decision is up to UEFA to make. Balls in their court now.
So let’s take our frustration on Man United. Give them a hell of a beating. Way to go, Gooners~!