Gunners to mount Eduardo appeal

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Arsenal are to appeal against what they call a "deeply flawed" decision by UEFA to hand striker Eduardo a two-match European ban for diving to win a penalty against Celtic in a Champions League qualifier.

European football's governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatia international for "deceiving the referee" when he went down in the box at Emirates Stadium last week despite there appearing to be no contact with Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

"The club is in receipt of UEFA's reasoned decision in relation to the charge against Eduardo," an Arsenal statement read. "We strongly believe that the decision taken is deeply flawed and not based on any forensic review of the video evidence available. There are obvious errors and inconsistencies in UEFA's judgment and we intend to appeal."

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith was quick to call for action against Eduardo, who is set to face England in their World Cup qualifier at Wembley next week.

UEFA subsequently began an investigation, which Gunners boss Arsene Wenger lambasted as a "witch-hunt" and resulted in the decision to ban Eduardo for two matches.

Arsenal are understood to have made a 19-page submission to UEFA ahead of the original hearing, which clearly made little impact on the panel, and following the announcement of Eduardo's ban, slammed the "arbitrary process" followed by the European governing body.

Indeed, manager Wenger declared UEFA had now opened a Pandora's Box, with every controversial decision under their jurisdiction now apparently possible for scrutiny despite not having acted on other high-profile incidents in the past.

Should the ban be upheld, Eduardo - who has finally returned to full match fitness following a year out with a broken leg - would be forced to miss the opening two Champions League group matches, away at Standard Liege on September 16 and the home encounter with Olympiacos on September 29.

Nearly all of the Arsenal squad are now away on international duty, with the next match another trip to Manchester on September 12, this time at Eastlands for a reunion with Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Gunners' London Colney base, however, has been utilised by the England squad ahead of their matches against Slovenia and the Croats.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Emmanuel Adebayor
European News
Premier League
Kolo Toure
UEFA Champions League

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