Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spot the GAL...

GAL is everywhere; or at least, the demand for it is. From the fantasy football world of the UEFA Champions League (via the Guardian):

The Arsenal striker Eduardo has been banned for two Champions League matches by Uefa having been found guilty of diving during the second leg of their play-off against Celtic.

Uefa's disciplinary panel made the ruling after a teleconference. The panel said the Brazil-born Croatia forward deceived the referee when he was awarded a penalty after a challenge by Artur Boruc, the Celtic goalkeeper, last Wednesday.

Arsenal this evening condemned the "arbitrary" nature of Uefa's decision, but have not yet revealed whether they will contest the ban. A statement on their website read: "The club is disappointed with Uefa's decision to suspend Eduardo. We have been informed that we will receive a "reasoned decision" from Uefa by Thursday of this week. Once we receive Uefa's rationale, we will make a decision on the next steps.

"We have been deeply frustrated by the perfunctory and apparently arbitrary process that Uefa has followed in this instance. We believe it is imperative that Uefa's explanation for its decision provides clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced. It is also critical that Uefa provides specific details of the processes it plans to adopt in reviewing all games under its jurisdiction."

Anyone interested in the actual incident that has caused this controversy can see it here. Seems a pretty clear cut case of "simulation" (the preferred euphamism of the Italians for this particular form of cheating); Arsenal's point, however - which seems to be that given the prevalence of this sort of thing in the sport, UEFA are going to have a busy time in the future in their efforts to adopt a consistent and coherent line on this - is both true and interesting...