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Football | Champions League

Luiz Adriano © Reuters Images

Adriano charged for unfair play



Shakhtar Donetsk forward Luiz Adriano was charged by Uefa on Wednesday for disrespecting Champions League opponent Nordsjaelland by scoring an uncontested goal after a drop ball.

Uefa opened a disciplinary case against Luiz Adriano for "violation of the principles of conduct" in Tuesday's match in Denmark. The case will be judged next Tuesday.

The controversy followed a stoppage in play when a Nordsjaelland player was injured.

Luiz Adriano infuriated Nordsjaelland players and fans after an uncontested drop ball by racing to collect teammate Willian's kick downfield that was intended for the home goalkeeper.

The Brazilian forward ignored watching defenders, dribbled around the 'keeper and shot into an empty net.

The goal was allowed by French referee Antony Gautier before Luiz Adriano was pursued back into his own half by protesting Nordsjaelland players.

Luiz Adriano's first-half goal made it 1-1, and he eventually scored three in a 5-2 win that ensured Shakhtar advanced to the last 16.

"Their striker didn't get it," Nordsjaelland captain Nicolai Stokholm said. "I looked down at my armband and there's something about respect -it has to be said we didn't see much of that.

"We thought that they would give us a goal. Half their team seemed to think so too, but the other half didn't."

The disputed goal did not breach the laws of football, but Uefa has taken an ethical stance.

Uefa said it brought charges based on Article 5 of its disciplinary regulations. It includes clauses on conduct which is "insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent," and which "brings the sport of football, and Uefa in particular, into disrepute."

Luiz Adriano faces being suspended for Shakhtar's final home match against Juventus on December 5. The Italian champions will also advance, at the expense of Chelsea, if they avoid defeat in Ukraine.

Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu later apologised for Luiz Adriano's behavior and said he had instructed his players to allow Nordsjaelland to score immediately and take a 2-1 lead.

However, midfielder Taras Stepanenko challenged Stokholm after the Danish team restarted play.

"I was supposed to let Stokholm advance unchallenged when he was moving toward me," Stepanenko said in comments reported by the club's website, "but I hadn't been told about that in time, so I picked up the ball."

Shakhtar pointed to a similar incident four years ago when it was the apparent victim of bad sportsmanship in a Champions League match against Barcelona.

The ball was kicked out by a Shakhtar player as a teammate lay injured, but Barcelona attacked from the throw-in and Lionel Messi scored to equalize in a game the Spanish club won 2-1.

In a celebrated incident in English football in 1999, Arsenal agreed to replay an FA Cup match against Sheffield United after acknowledging that its winning goal stemmed from unsporting behavior by Nigerian forward Nwankwo Kanu.

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