Wenger fury at UEFA charge
Arsene Wenger labelled UEFA's decision to charge Eduardo for diving against Celtic as a 'disgrace'.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 28/08/09 3:14pm
Arsene Wenger has labelled Uefa's decision to charge Eduardo for 'diving' against Celtic as a 'disgrace'.
The Arsenal striker appeared to con the referee into awarding the Gunners a penalty when he fell under the challenge of Hoops goalkeeper Artur Boruc in the second leg of a UEFA Champions League qualifier on Wednesday.
Uefa have since studied video evidence of the incident and decided to charge the Gunners front man with 'intent to deceive the referee'.
The assessment has angered Wenger with the Frenchman stating that the governing body have now put themselves in a very 'dangerous' position.
"I find it a complete disgrace and not acceptable," he told Sky Sports News.
"We will not accept the way Uefa treated this case. Having seen the television again nothing is conclusive from that and it singles out a player in Europe to be a cheat and that is not acceptable.
"I have seen some obvious cases where Uefa didn't intervene and that is on and off the pitch. Things have happened in Europe on and off the pitch where Fifa did not act at all.
"I believe that this is the first time in my time in football where a situation that has been judged and assessed by the referee and that the referee's decision is not accepted by the football bodies.
Opened a dangerous door
"Normally a situation that has been assessed and judged by the referee cannot be touched again.
"So that means we have opened a door that means that every single decision that is seen by a referee can be changed. They have opened a very dangerous door there."
The Gunners boss insisted that Eduardo had been touched by Boruc and added that even if it was only a slight brush he did not blame the player for going down given his history with injuries.
"I am not disappointed, here it is a witch hunt," he added.
"Eduardo has been touched by the goalkeeper we can prove that. One thing - is it a penalty or not? I am the first to say it doesn't look obvious to be a penalty but it is another thing to judge with intent he did go down and I wish you good luck to prove that after seeing the pictures again.
"To single a player out like that who has come back from injury like he has, been hit like he has been, for going down I don't blame him. When you see his leg first time I don't blame him getting out of the way of the goalkeeper."
Wenger admits that the player is bewildered at the attention the incident has received and the former Monaco chief declared that he felt Eduardo had been unfairly treated by the media.
"He feels he has done nothing wrong. Of course the timing is not ideal," he confessed.
"It is funny football, you can break a player's leg and it doesn't cause a debate for anybody but this case has been all over the world and treated like Eduardo has killed somebody.
"Do you know that this penalty had no outcome on the result, we were 2-0 up anyway and we would have won this game at home.
"We have been victims of players diving in England who were English but were never treated like that, so the media have to ask themselves to treat every case the same."
Wenger is adamant that the club will fight any suspension Uefa try to place on the Croatia international's head and finished by giving his backing to video technology in order to stamp out simulation for good, something Uefa president Michel Platini is staunchly against.
"How many times have I come out and said I favour video," he stated.
"Uefa refuses to use video but they use it to charge our player so where is the logic? That again is something that is quite surprising.
"It is dangerous. Any club in any big games can challenge the decision of the referee.
"I think we have to fight against diving but the best way is to have video evidence. They have watched the video again, why do we not use it straight away and spare all this embarrassment that is spoken about for weeks now."