Eduardo diving ban scrapped
Uefa panel not satisfied that referee was deceived for Champs League penalty shout.
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2009 06:18 GMT

Eduardo said he was 'relieved' that the ban had been overturned [AFP]
Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva has won his appeal against a two-match ban imposed by Uefa for diving in a European Champions League qualifying game against Celtic.

The Brazilian-born Croatian international was initially banned after winning a controversial penalty against Celtic.

"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 the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty," said Uefa in a statement on Monday.

"Therefore the decision of the Uefa control and disciplinary body of September 1, in which the player was suspended for two Uefa club competition matches, is annulled."

Eduardo went down in the area after poking the ball past goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who dived at his feet but appeared to make little or no contact.

Year out

The striker, who spent a year out of the game after suffering a broken leg in February 2008, converted the penalty to put Arsenal 1-0 ahead and 3-0 up on aggregate.

The Londoners eventually won 3-1 for a 5-1 aggregate victory.

"I'm very pleased we have finally arrived at the truth," Eduardo told his team's website.

"All we needed to do was prove what happened and we have managed to do that.

"This decision makes me feel a lot better. I certainly feel relieved now.

"All I remember of the incident is that as soon as I had possession of the ball I headed towards goal at full speed. I was very close to the Celtic keeper and felt contact on my foot and then lost my balance.

"I know perhaps more than anyone else that when you have contact at speed it can be dangerous.

"I just want to say I'm a fair (honest) player. To score goals you must take your opportunities and I'm not the type of player who needs to be dishonest to score goals."

Eduardo is now free to play in Arsenal's first two Group H matches at Standard Liege on Wednesday and at home to Olympiakos on September 29.

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