Eduardo vindicated: No ban

UEFA’s appeal court turned down their own disciplinary panel’s recommendation of a two match ban for Eduardo. They came to this decision based on no conclusive evidence establishing that the “referee had been deceived.”
I think the fact that the disciplinary panel took less than an hour to consider Arsenal’s 19 page dossier has something to do with the decision to reverse the ban. Obviously the court thinks that Arsenal was not given a fair shake and that the panel had already pulled the trigger too hastily and callously on the outcome.
There is the feeling that the panel was particularly heedless when it came to Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez, the Spanish referee when he stuck to his statement of not being deceived after being shown the replays. It is not a good omen to cast doubt on the very people who are in the frontline of stopping cheating.
The psychological impact of Eduardo’s horrific injury which was a major part in his defense seems to have been callously disregarded by the panel has been reconsidered by the court as legitimate extenuating circumstances. Eduardo never had a reputation as a diver so why start now?
Eduardo himself makes it clear:
“I know perhaps more than anyone else that when you have contact at speed it can be dangerous. I just want to say that I’m a fair player. To score goals you must take your opportunities and I’m not the type of player who needs to be dishonest to score his goals.”
In the end it was not such a open and shut case. And it is obvious that UEFA felt that there was more damage to be done in prosecuting the case in such a slipshod manner. They need to catch a Steven Gerrard or a Didier Drogba, players with a reputation for embellishment and no psychological overlays caused by career threatening injuries.
The good news is that Eduardo will be available for the CL encounter against Standard Liege this Wednesday.

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