UEFA’s general secretary David Taylor has insisted there was no ’old pals’ act’ surrounding the disciplinary action against Arsenal striker Eduardo for diving against Celtic.
Taylor is the former chief executive of the Scottish FA, and his successor Gordon Smith had led calls for UEFA to ban Eduardo.
The striker was given a two-match ban by European football’s governing body. Arsenal are appealing and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger claimed there had been “a witch-hunt” with the case being influenced by “Scottish people working at UEFA”.
Taylor, however, claimed that was not the case, saying: “It’s not all pals together, we’re in football and you disagree with people.”
It is understood Taylor would have preferred Smith not have got involved as UEFA were already looking at the incident in which Eduardo went down under a challenge from Celtic keeper Artur Boruc to win a penalty.
The UEFA general secretary met Wenger last week at a coaches’ forum in Switzerland and tried to explain the reasoning behind the decision.
Taylor told Bloomberg: “There’s a clear difference of opinion. We believe this was something that infringed the regulations and there was an obvious intent to deceive the referee.”
He also denied claims that this would set a dangerous precedent with UEFA now needing to take action on dozens of matches.
He added: “That won’t be the case. There has to be significant detriment to the opposing team. We are not talking throw-ins, corners kicks, things happening elsewhere on the pitch.
“We’re talking about things like the sending-off of players, or penalties which are scored where the other team suffers significant disadvantage.”