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Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 15:17 UK

Ferguson backs Eduardo suspension

(l-r) Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, Uefa president Michel Platini and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at a meeting in Nyon on Thursday
Wenger and Ferguson met Uefa president Michel Platini on Thursday at the European football's governing body headquarters in Nyon

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Uefa's decision to ban Arsenal striker Eduardo for two Champions League matches for diving.

The Croatia forward was found guilty of deceiving referee Manuel Gonzalez to win a penalty against Celtic in August.

Ferguson said European football's governing body had to send a strong disciplinary message because of the high-profile nature of the competition.

"I have to agree that something had to be done," said the Scot.

Arsenal were leading 2-0 on aggregate when Eduardo fell under a challenge from Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

The striker scored the resulting penalty and the Gunners went on to win the two-leg tie 5-1.

Arsenal are appealing against the ban and released a statement calling the decision by European football's governing body "deeply flawed".

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has accused Uefa of conducting a "witch-hunt" and claimed that they had set a dangerous precedent whereby any decision made by an official can be contested after the match.

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And Ferguson, who is attending a Uefa coaching forum in Nyon - along with Wenger, among others - supports the way the Frenchman has dealt with the situation.

He added: "I agree with Arsene, I would ask the same question 'is it going to happen to everyone?'

"You become insular and protective of your own player and own team, we're all selfish that way.

"I would have been saying 'what about all the rest of the players?'.

"But I wouldn't have been pleased if my player had done that.

"I wouldn't say it publicly though, because when you do that you're in danger of losing the morale of the dressing room.

"Privately, as I've done many times, you have a different view, but I wouldn't do it publicly."

If Arsenal's appeal fails Eduardo will miss the trip to Standard Liege on 16 September and the home match with Olympiacos on 29 September.



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see also
Uefa retracts Eduardo diving ban
14 Sep 09 |  Europe
Uefa bans Eduardo for two matches
01 Sep 09 |  Europe
SFA happy with diving crackdown
01 Sep 09 |  Scottish Premier
Wenger angry over Eduardo charge
28 Aug 09 |  Europe
Eduardo defended over dive claims
27 Aug 09 |  Europe
Celtic boss refuses to blame ref
26 Aug 09 |  Celtic
Arsenal 3-1 Celtic (agg 5-1)
26 Aug 09 |  Europe


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