Saturday 29 August 2009

UEFA Enforces “Deceiving the Referee” Charge

Following a Champions League qualifying game between Arsenal and Celtic on Wednesday 26 August 2009 where Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva appeared to dive to win a penalty, UEFA decided to use video evidence to examine the incident. Subsequently, UEFA has charged Eduardo for "deceiving the referee" (i.e. simulation). He faces a two-match ban when the UEFA control and disciplinary body meets on 1 September 2009.

The charge is based on Article 10, paragraph 1c of the UEFA disciplinary regulations (misconduct of players) which states:
"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 judgment and thereby causing him to make an incorrect decision."

This case has highlighted again the debate about whether video evidence and technology should be used (at least at the highest levels of professional football), or whether human fallibility should be embraced by the professional game. Does anyone have any comments?

There is also the delicate matter of consistency. We have seen that there are regulations that do not allow Match Review Panels to review incidents that have already been addressed by the referee (as in the recent case involving Robbie Fowler), and then there are regulations that do allow incidents to be reviewed even though the referee has decided on the incident (Eduardo's case).

Related Posts
Violent Conduct by Nemanja Vidic?
Violent Conduct by Robbie Fowler
New Europa League will Trial "Five" Match Officials

Wenger angry at Eduardo charge (BBC Sport)
Arsenal VS Celtic 3-1 (YouTube)
UEFA President hails UEFA Europa League

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