A sickening tackle on Eduardo more than 18 months ago leaves him a doorstep from a permanent end to his career.
Clips of his mangled ankle with the bone protruding out is replayed again and again, evoking a visceral reaction of horror and disgust that fails to lessen in intensity each time its shown. The culprit Martin Taylor is given a 3 game ban and the FA turns down FIFA's request for increasing the number of matches that he should sit out. The FA divines there is no intent in the player's part to cause grievous harm.
"Serious foul play carries a three-match ban and the only cases where that has been increased is where there has been a clear case of intent and no-one is suggesting that happened in this case."
Fast forward to the present times, as Eduardo is penalized for his dive by UEFA against Ceeltic and assessed a two match ban. The association decides that in this case there is intent to deceive the referee.
Uefa has studied the video footage and concluded that Eduardo has a charge of "deceiving the referee" to answer.
A potential career ending injury results in a three match ban whereas a dive that has no material bearing on a match brings on a two match ban. Taylor's intent was not to cause Eduardo injury but he did anyway and horrifically. Eduardo's intent was not to deceive but the referee was deceived anyway resulting in a PK.
English managers came to the fore to defend Taylor as a player without malicious intent. It was also quite obvious that the FA was in damage control mode. Unlike Eduardo, Taylor never had to answer to them even as a minimum requirement.
See, even Steven Gerrard had no intention of rearranging Malcolm McGee's face. It happened anyway for which his friends are serving time. Its self defense in Gerrard's case and affray for his buddies. It is small wonder that Gerrard's self entitlement has roots in the punditry who have chosen to turn a blind eye to his diving.
Divining intent is untidy, circumstantial, and ultimately biased. The narrative depends on who writes it as Edward Said so eloquently pointed out in his treatise Orientalism. In this case video technology can be used to evaluate deception whereas Neil Warnock can scream till he is blue in his face on a legitimate goal disallowed. Eduardo is not English and no one likes Warnock.
Eduardo could have been slapped with a fine. UEFA chose the politically expedient route of assigning intent over context. I wonder if the FA will step in just as they did Taylor and defend Eduardo. Something tells me I should not hold my breath.