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Dida and Milan charged over keeper's play-acting

By Nick Harris

Uefa yesterday opened disciplinary proceedings against Milan and their goalkeeper, Dida, following the Brazilian's play-acting and substitution during last week's Champions League match at Celtic.

European football's governing body had already asked Milan to explain the incident. It seems that that reply was not satisfactory and now the player, the club or both could face sanctions.

Dida was taken off on a stretcher near the end of the Group D match after a Celtic fan ran on to the pitch and touched him. As a result, Celtic were charged on Friday with lack of organisation, and of improper conduct of fans. Uefa's control and disciplinary body will deal with the matter on Thursday. Celtic face a fine or worse.

Dida and Milan will learn their own fate the same day. They have been charged under Uefa's disciplinary regulations – Principles of Conduct – which state that clubs and players must "conduct themselves according to the principles of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship".

It appears there is a case that Dida breached these principles in three ways, by apparently trying to get the game abandoned: through improper conduct; by bringing the game into disrepute; and by causing the match to be interrupted unnecessarily, as he lay "hurt".

Potential punishments include a fine, a reprimand or a ban of one or more games.

* The Scotland defender Gary Caldwell is unsure whether he will be fit to face Ukraine on Saturday. The Celtic centre-half suffered a knee injury during his side's late 2-1 win against Gretna on Sunday. His Hoops team-mate Paul Hartley, who has a hamstring injury, looks certain to miss the Euro 2008 qualifying double-header against the Ukrainians at Hampden, and Georgia in Tbilisi next Wednesday.

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