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Tuesday Ticker: Adriano suspended for shady goal, Hiddink to retire, & more

Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano made waves recently when he pounced onto a ball intended as a gesture of fair play and scored against an unsuspecting FC Nordsjaelland. He claimed innocence, insisting he was oblivious to what was going on when he showed the worst example of sportsmanship in recent memory.

UEFA wasn’t buying Adriano’s explanation, choosing to ban the Brazilian striker for one match for the act for ‘violating the principles of conduct’.

The suspension means Adriano will miss Shakhtar’s remaining Champions League group match against Juventus. Shakhtar has already secured passage to the knockout round.

Here are some more stories to get you through the day.


Long-time manager Guus Hiddink is ready to retire from coaching at the end of the Russian League season.

The Anzhi manager will put an end to a stories 30-year coaching career that has seen him enjoy success with national teams as well as on the club level.

“It was not my intention to stay very long when I joined this club,” Hiddink told Dutch publication De Telegraaf. “I’m basically going to stop at the end of the season. At 66 years old I think I’ve nearly had enough.”

Hiddink has coached clubs such as PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid and Chelsea, and has taken three different national teams (Netherlands, South Korea and Australia) to the knockout rounds of the World Cup.


Chelsea have apologized for their handling of the racism complaint against referee Mark Clattenburg. (REPORT)

Celtic manager Neil Lennon is threatening to quit amid criticism of Celtic’s recent league form. (REPORT)


What do you think of these developments? Think a one-game suspension is fair punishment for what Adriano did? Sad to see Hiddink retiring, or do you think he’ll wind up coaching in the 2014 World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Most of the videos of the incident only show the kick back to the Nordsjælland goalkeeper and Adriano taking the ball and scoring. The videos don’t show what happened before, making it appear as if a Nordsjælland player was truly injured. But that is not what happened. Morten Nordstrand of Nordsjælland took a dive and faked as if he had been elbowed in the face by Fernandinho of Shakhtar Donetsk. Basically, Nordstrand was hoping the ref would give Fernandinho a red card. This is the only video I could find of Nordstrand faking it, others have been scrubbed off the Internet (it’s in 3D, you have click to turn the 3D off).

    What I think probably happened is that Shakhtar players were furious seeing Nordstrand squirming around on the ground like he had a broken jaw when he didn’t even get touched in the face hoping for a red card on Fernandinho and Adriano stuffed it down Nordsjælland’s throat.

    • Biff

      The YouTube video that you are posting, has cleverly been edited, to make it seem like Morten Nordstrand was not struck in the face at all but just took a dive, which is clearly not what happened… look at the video below from French TV, that show exactly what happened… though you could argue that it was not intentionally, Nordstrand quite clearly got struck on the jaw and the blow just as clearly knocks him to the ground, which makes the referee react, so it was not a dive :

      • The reason why in video one it looks like the elbow was stomach level — is because that’s what happened — as confirmed by video two. The Danish team player basically turns and runs into the Shaktar player, and in doing so catches a face full of shoulder and a stomach full of elbow. I don’t know if he didn’t see him there or did it on purpose. I don’t see any unnatural swinging of the arm (or a “strike” of the jaw as you frame it) and as you saw the ref called no foul and let the play go until the player stayed down injured right in the middle of the pitch.

        It’s not a dive because he got whacked and I bet it hurt, but it was an injury stoppage not a foul call, hence the drop ball rather than free kick. So it’s a neutral dead ball to which either party can lay claim, and while Shaktar’s handling of it is classless, the Danish team seemed lackidaisical about securing their own possession. Comedy of errors all around.

  2. The Danish defenders should have been aware of and should have been more aggressive in “trying” to get the ball. They were lazy or felt “entitled” to the ball, which Andriano noticed and said, hey, your ball but how much time do I have to give you, or wake your ass up that there’s a game being played here. By the way their player “blindly” ran into a defender who was wrongly accused of a foul, that award the “free” kick back to the Danes. Stay alert, don’t assume anything, and by a means stop crying about it!

  3. A one match is fine, but a two match ban would have been justified.

    The fact that Shaktar keeps makes excuses is deplorable, but not exactly surprising. If the coach did tell his team to level the score and they refused as has been stated, their excuses are in keeping with their behavior. However, the players refusal spoke more to the fibre of the players on the field then the club but, but to make excuses on a club site, regardless of who the author is, indicates that it is endemic to the club itself. The coach at least seemed to retain a shred of decency and sportsmanship with his conduct on the sidelines. However I can’t speak to interviews, comments or any other off field activity as I have been following that closely.

    Hoping they get trounced in their next two games. The club and Adriano are not helping themselves to win new supporters.

  4. I have an idea. If the referee wants a certain team to have the ball shouldn’t he just toss it to them. The whole give the ball to one team so that they can kick it to the other team is stupid. The referee gave them the ball, they kept it and scored. I hope to see more teams score in this way and have this rule or lack there of changed. They finally stopped the kick the ball out of bounds when the other team had a player down while he faked an injury crap.

  5. @Nate Dollars

    The coach should have pulled him out of the game straight away and let FCN score a goal…non of this happened, instead they have just been making one embarrassing excuse after the other, so of course Adriano was never going to be punished by his coach or club…. UEFA do have rules and regulations that makes it possible to punish Adriano and if they had failed to do so, we would just see more and more of this kind of horrible behaviour…

  6. don’t agree with the ban. he didn’t break a rule (even an ‘administrative’ rule like bendtner at euros), so uefa shouldn’t take action; the team should’ve suspended him.

    • You mean the team that supposedly had a gentleman’s agreement with FC Nordsjaelland to allow them to score, the coach claiming he told his players to, but then the team just kept right on playing as if nothing happened…?

      • FWIW I don’t want teams explicitly or implicitly agreeing to play to a mutually beneficial draw, so all these gentleman’s agreements should be unenforceable. It reminds me of team orders and blue flags in Formula One, where basically everyone is supposed to clear the path for the leading racers in passing situations. I might personally kick in an own goal to even the score but I don’t know if I’d require it on a systemic level, because at the pro level people are paying to watch this contrived spectacle you’re putting on.

  7. The silly excuses from Shaktar and Adriano qas getting more and more embarrasing :

    Not only have they been trying to say, that cheating an opponent when they are 0-1 behind is not really a problem, because they believe they were much better in any case, so that they could have won by 8-2 or 8-3, they are also trying to say, that quote – “maybe it would have been even more unsportsmanlike if we’d just parted and allowed FC Nordsjælland to net.”… they are also trying to postulate that FCN would never have been good enough to be able to score their second goal, if they had not more or less stopped playing… a ridiculous statement, considering that FCN also were leading by 1-0, so I wonder how that goal happened, if Shaktar think that they are a way too good a team, to conceive a goal against a team like FCN ?… the only true words we are getting here are, that they quote : “are sorry that we’ve found ourselves in this situation” … yes, they are sorry that they have been caught cheating and that UEFA are taking it seriously, because they didn’t think that they could be punished for cheating against a small team like FCN…

    Now to the real fact of the matter… Adriano did not seem sorry at all after the match. He said so himself, but now after UEFA have charged him, they all seem it be sorry, no so much for what they did, but mainly because they believe that they have done nothing wrong, considering that FCN in there opinion, is a small team that should not matter..

    French TV looked closer at the incident, which clearly show, that Adriano was well aware that it was not a free kick, but that the referee was going to drop the ball….. as you can see in the video below he is clearly looking at the referee while moving slowly upfield (at 0:46 and forward) … he also clearly later waves his hand at his team-mates, trying to make them prevent FCN from scoring at the following kick off, which was also what happened… :

    Personally I think that a one-match ban is to small a punishment…

    • there was a real naivety on this play from the danish club, and inspector clouseau did not prove anything except that standing around is only going to get you scored on. the irony is that the danish club took the lead a couple minutes later, and they still losted by three goals. yet some people want to stand up on the pulpit and cry foul, while being oblivious to the facts, ostensibly anyway.

      • It’s not nativity… it’s called true respect of fair play… However, the real crime here is not only what Adriano did, but what happened right after, when Shaktar did not want to right the wrong Adriano had done… Or as Danish NT legend Michal Laudrup has said, then the Shaktar coach is to blame for this scandal.

  8. I am not in favor of this ban, what he did was against the spirit of the game and was not something I condone but it is also an unwritten rule that is just accepted by players. To just suspend him under the overarching rule of violating principles of conduct is not the correct thing to do to me. You can not just decide randomly to suspend players for breaking rules that aren’t officially rules, also how about we suspend the Norwegian player for his egregious dive and embellishment which led to the entire thing?

    Ideal situation would have been for Shakhtar to man up and suspend him for two games but they were never going to do that.

    • If there’s no consequence, what’s keeping someone else from doing this in the next game?

      Whether it’s written or not, everyone (from U14 to the pros) knows not to do what he did. Shameless. Absolutely agree with the ban!

      • Create an assessment that accurately reflects that knowledge and I’ll guess about 30% really comprehend.


      • A one game ban will not stop someone from doing this if it has the potential to win a game for his side. The shame factor is the thing that prevents this, not the threat of a ban. In no way do I agree with what he did but to start banning for unwritten rules just is a bad road to go down.

      • I wouldn’t be so pessimistic, Hollands dirty world cup final squad gained a corner sending the ball towards the keeper, and they sent sneijder to pass the ball straight to the keeper, who waiter for him to return to his position before resuming play.

        If that Holland team didn’t, who would? (answer: 2010 Uruguay and Suarez)

      • If you want consequences, then put it in the rules, right?

        The way to remedy such situations is to codify the appropriate rule. When teams resorted to Hack-a-Shaq, the NBA realized the situation was unsporting and not in the spirit of the game. They changed the rules.

        That’s how you do it.

        Say what you want about American sports leagues, I’ll take NBA/NFL/NHL/MLB any day over FIFA/UEFA.

        As deplorable as Adriano’s action was (and I agree it was as unsportsmanlike as can be), this is just more evidence that the entities that govern world soccer do whatever the eff they want.

        That’s more troubling to me than an isolated incident of horrendous sportsmanship.

      • I have to agree with you and Travis on this one.

        Shaktar own the shame IMO. Just let the other team score, problem solved, no ban, and the player remains shamed publicly.

      • Perhaps too much research into something that doesn’t deserve it, but well done none-the-less.

        They precede the rule below by saying that just because there is no specific rule on a specific action, they can still rule on it if it meets any of a wide range of criteria.

        Among them was a member club, association, or player:

        b) whose conduct is insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct;

      • well, i stand corrected. actually i think it’s more clear in article 10.
        let’s see if this formats right so others don’t have to download the file:

        Article 10 Misconduct of players
        The following disciplinary sanctions apply for competition matches:
        a) suspension for one competition match or for a specified period for:
        1. a second caution in the same match,
        2. rough play,
        3. repeated protests against or failure to comply with the referee’s orders,
        4. insulting players or others present at the match,
        5. unsporting conduct,
        6. provoking spectators,
        7. playing when not eligible to do so

        pretty clear that a 1-match ban is appropriate for unsporting conduct. um, way to go, uefa?

      • i get that he could hypothetically be suspended under the umbrella of unsporting conduct but that is ludicrous to me. i could argue that there should be at least two suspensions per game then for the berating of officials since that isnt sporting. these types of vague rules are a large part of the issues that soccer is facing currently. i dont have time to search the entire rules but if it says anywhere in there that when player goes down due to injury and the team kicks the ball out or is given a drop kick that the other team is required to give it back then kudos otherwise it is far to vague of a rule.

      • Props on the link. Clearly this was “Unsportsmanlike conduct’ as per Article 8.

        I’m fine with a a 1 game ban, (article 10) IF there is also a 1 goal withdrawal! That is what is just – but I don’t think is allowed as a punishment.

    • didn’t see your comment; i agree with you completely.

      and to dinho: the consequence is being known for poor sportsmanship, and that’s it until they put it in the rulebook. don’t really see how the ban helps nordsjaelland (who were the wronged party) in any way.

    • I basically agree. As far as the rules on the books are concerned it was a re-start played by Shaktar, won by Shaktar’s forward, and scored. It is a gentleman’s game and what he did was not “cricket” in the slightest. But he did not violate a rule and I don’t recall a card being issued for perceived sportsmanship issues.

      That being said, few seem to note that the Danish team almost ran away from the ball and arguably bear some responsibility. In boxing terms they kind of dropped their guard. I don’t think on a re-start like that I as a defender ever just let it slowly bounce between my colleagues and I on the loose assumption the keeper had it. I wouldn’t say they had it coming because the concept is to sort of slowly work it back into play, but I think their approach was naive. If I was coaching this goes on the teaching reel both ways. Let the other team have it, but if you’re the recipient don’t just stand around and assume the keeper has it.

  9. Neil Lennon is a stand-up guy. Read his comments. If everyone responded to criticism that way, we’d live in a far more civilized society.

    I, for one, hope he does not step down – not at this point in Celtic’s Champs League run. It reminds me of Di Matteo’s untimely ouster. A massive win followed by a relatively brief poor run of form should be viewed as that. No need to make wholesale changes for the sake of instant gratification.

  10. I like this punishment as it punishes the team and the player. If Shaktar would have just allowed FC Nordsjaelland to peg them back right away none of this would be happening. I feel this sends the right message.

    • I think it sends the message that UEFA doesn’t want to upset the apple cart too much, and is suspending a starting striker for one game that doesn’t matter at all. The right message would be to suspend him for at least 2 games, so that the team is penalized in the next round, not the current round (which they already won).

      • While they have qualified for the next round, the seeding for that round is still in play for the last match. Being in the 2 pool instead of the 1 pool does have an impact in the next round so I don’t accept the argument that this game “doesn’t matter at all”.
        I agree UEFA is not wanting to upset the apple cart and I don’t really feel there is any need to do so.

  11. Under the letter of the law, it’s hard to see how he can be suspended. I mean the ref clearly saw it, and could have disciplined him in some way (a yellow?). I think he broke an unwritten rule, but it certainly qualifies as poor conduct.

    I wonder if he would have been suspended had his team went ahead and scored on themselves as retribution.

    I agree that he is a a#$ and should be suspended, but just surprised they were able to do it. Probably figured he wouldnt be even more of a fool and try to appeak.

  12. I’m sorry, what?!? What Adriano did was unsportsmanlike and reprehensible, but suspending him is an empty, pointless gesture. Especially for the next game, since his squad is already through. Did he violate an actual rule? Or a retroactive, an all-encompassing “in the best interests of the sport” decree? It’s an annoying “unwritten rule,” which either needs to be made a rule, or governing bodies need to stay out and let justice be done on the pitch.

    • 3-5 games feels pretty extreme for someone just being a douche.

      He didn’t break anyones leg or attempt violence on another player/staff/ref. He was just an ass. Let him sit on the touchline for a match and think about what happens when you make an ass out of your club on the world stage – you sit on the sideline on international TV for 1 game with the “dunce” cap on and then we all move on with our lives.

    • It is not meaningless. A loss would mean a second place finish. Also, it would impact Ukraine’s 5-year rankings. The punishment is appropriate. It is irrelevant who the next opponent is or at what stage of the tournament we are.

  13. I think that’s the right call to suspend Adriano. That was outrageous. I always wondered what would happen if a player did that, thanks to his ‘obliviousness’ we now know.


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