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Sep 3, 2009

Eduardo's diving ban "worth it" says Scot

Scotland international Craig Gordon believes Eduardo's two-match ban for diving against Celtic was "worth it" because it helped to secure Arsenal a place in the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.

Eduardo took a tumble under a challenge from Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc to win a controversial penalty in Arsenal's 3-1 Champions League second leg play-off victory at the Emirates and has subsequently been punished by UEFA.

There was outrage north of the border with Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith leading the calls for the Croatian striker to be banned, but Scotland and Sunderland goalkeeper Gordon says he can understand why Eduardo used simulation.

Gordon said: "For a goalkeeper, it is infuriating when you don't touch someone and they have won a penalty, and himself and his club a place in the group stages of the Champions League.

"That is worth £16m and he has probably got close to £100,000 in bonuses, so you can see what it means to players and why someone would do that, to win a game by any means possible.

"It's not nice but I don't see how we can stamp it out of the game.

"He got a two-match ban. Is it worth it for getting to the group stages where they will possibly progress from that? It probably is worth it to guarantee your team is in that competition."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger slammed UEFA's decision to charge Eduardo with diving as a "complete disgrace" and a "witch-hunt" against the striker. The Gunners have until Friday afternoon to lodge any appeal against Eduardo's two-match ban.

And Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood is backing Wenger to challenge UEFA over the striker's suspension. Hill-Wood said: "I think Arsene is absolutely right to take the view he has. He has 100% backing from the board and we are united on this issue."

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