Having hastily judged Eduardo against the protestations of the match referee and decided to ban him for 2 matches for ‘intending to deceive the referee’, who had claimed he wasn’t deceived, Uefa have had to climb down and admit that they were wrong to do so.
The decision, described as the consequence of a ‘perfunctory and apparently arbitrary process’ by the club was controversial at best. In an official statement following receipt of Uefa’s explanation for their decision the club stated: “We strongly believe that the decision taken is deeply flawed and not based on any forensic review of the video evidence available.
There are obvious errors and inconsistencies in Uefa`s judgment”
The club announced it’s intention to appeal on Eduardo’s behalf which was accepted by Uefa. Their statement concluded:
Following examination of all the evidence, notably the declarations of both the referee and the referees’ assessor, as well as the various video footage, it was not established to the panel’s satisfaction that the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty.
So justice appears to have been done but a more considered approach might have avoided Uefa’s blushes. The video footage shown on TV seemed to show that from an angle from the touchline there wasn’t any clear contact. Another angle, that of the referee, distributed widely on the internet, showed that at the very least there was some contact. Responding so quickly to media indignation without first considering all available evidence was a poor mistake by Uefa’s disciplinary committee.
In between the decisions Eduardo was obliged to endure the boos of England supporters throughout the recent world cup qualifying game. However, being a model professional, he didn’t mock the English supporters by elaborately celebrating his goal against them or rake his studs down the side of Rooney’s face.
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