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Sep 2, 2009

Gunners set to appeal Eduardo's "diving" ban

Angry Arsenal look set to launch an appeal against UEFA's decision to hand striker Eduardo a two-match European ban for diving to win a penalty against Celtic in a Champions League qualifier. The Croatia international was punished for "deceiving the referee" when he went down in the penalty box at Emirates Stadium last week despite there appearing to be no contact with Bhoys goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has lambasted the UEFA actiion as a "witch-hunt" and Arsenal made a 19-page submission to UEFA ahead of the hearing, which clearly made little impact on the panel.

Eduardo did not appeal for a foul on the night, and UEFA have failed to rule on countless controversial incidents under their jurisdiction, with the Gunners themselves aggrieved following what was a dubious yet vital penalty awarded to Liverpool's Ryan Babel in the Champions League quarter-final two seasons ago.

The Premier League club now have three days to lodge an appeal against the suspension which, if upheld, would rule Eduardo out of the Champions League group matches away at Standard Liege on September 16 and the home match with Olympiacos on September 29.

"The club is disappointed with UEFA's decision to suspend Eduardo for two Champions League matches starting with Standard Liege on September 16," a statement from Arsenal read.

"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."

The statement continued: "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."

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