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UEFA Steps Up and Kolo Falls Down
So what really happened here? Along with their rescinding of Eduardo’s two-match ban, UEFA released this brief statement:
The UEFA Appeals Body today accepted the appeal lodged by Arsenal FC against the two-match suspension handed to striker Eduardo.
Following examination of all the evidence, notably the declarations of both the referee and the referees’ assessor, as well as the various video footage, it was not established to the panel’s satisfaction that the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty.
Therefore, the decision of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body of 1 September, in which the player was suspended for two UEFA club competition matches, is annulled.
Good news for Arsenal… but better news for UEFA. They have obviously taken all the talk about precedence, not the least from Wenger himself, very seriously. What would it have meant for UEFA to institute post-facto reviews and punishments? For one, it would mean a lot of money. It would take a multi-person committee working double-time to review all possible incidents on a weekly basis. It would mean money would need to be spent to house and support this new body with the technology necessary to do the job right. Also, it would open UEFA up to criticism on individual incidents on a weekly basis from dozens of nations.
A final consideration for UEFA would have been that instituting the use of video like this, in any but the most exceptional and extraordinary incidents, would only pave the way more quickly for the use of video on the pitch, which UEFA diametrically oppose. The argument would be, if you can use video AFTER every match, why not just save the money spent on the committee and just use it during the match. Not that they might be pressured into it from outside but that it might become too easy for them to just finally give in on the video issue.
It also seems that Arsenal’s claim of having video evidence that Eduardo was indeed touched by Boruc has stood up. And none of this even addresses the absolute ridiculousness of awarding a player a two-match ban for an offense that is only worth a yellow card in the match. If UEFA really wanted to save face, they could have just issued Eduardo a yellow card.
We Expect Better From You, Kolo
Inevitably, the Adebayor issue drags on as the FA is expected to make a decision today. But even more disappointing is the fact that Kolo Toure has jumped into the fray now claiming:
Even though he was the first to go and salute them in the tunnel, even those who had an affinity with him didn’t want to shake his hand. For me that is unacceptable.
He is saying that the Arsenal players refused to shake Adebayor’s hand in the tunnel. This doesn’t seem to make sense considering everyone saw each player on the team shake his hand on the pitch after the lineups and some even hugged him. The culture and atmosphere at City is so corrupt that it has even turned Kolo Toure into a liar. Now, that is depressing.
Kolo also claims,
At the start of the game they were whistling at him as if he never brought anything to the club.
No, Kolo. They were whistling at him as if he had just insulted them all the day before in the national media. Adebayor deserves everything he gets and while I would hate to see Toure’s involvement in this case affect the reception he might get from Arsenal supporters at the Emirates, I can’t say he wouldn’t deserve it.
Even if it were true that the Arsenal players snubbed Adebayor, that is no excuse for his stomps on Fabregas’s ankle or van Persie’s face or even his kick out at Alex Song. And that is exactly what Kolo is saying here. He’s trying to justify Adebayor’s actions and that is even more despicable for him to do than Hughes.
The story has taken a turn where despite reprimands from Richard Scudamore and the Greater Manchester Police, some newspapers, including Martin Samuel at his rag, want to now put all the blame on the Arsenal supporters.
After Adebayor’s behavior throughout the match, I think he is lucky there wasn’t a bigger disturbance. He chose to antagonize the supporters because he knew he was in no personal harm and didn’t care if his actions put a few dozen under-paid stewards in danger.
Then Kolo goes on to comment on the circumstances regarding Adebayor’s departure from Arsenal:
Certain people want others to believe he left for the money but we know he was pushed to leave. I know it because I was present. I firmly believe he left to bring money to the club.
Well, which is it, Kolo? Do you “know” he was pushed to leave or do you “believe” it? Those are two different things. One implies fact and the other implies assumption. I highly doubt that the Board was keeping Kolo Toure abreast of either the club’s financial situation or their dealings with Man City regarding Adebayor. ‘
Kolo Toure was a faithful servant of the club for almost 10 years and won everything there was to win except the Champions League with Arsenal. However, in a few short weeks he has done damage to the great reputation and rapport he had built up in 7 years with Arsenal supporters. Kolo could have, in fact, would have been, one of those former players who were applauded upon their returns to North London. Whether that will now be the case is uncertain. [digg=http://digg.com/soccer/UEFA_Steps_Up_and_Kolo_Falls_Down]