Saturday, 6 October 2007

Ancelotti backs Dida despite 'error'

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti says he will stand by 'keeper Nelson Dida but admits he was wrong to react the way he did after being confronted by a Celtic fan.

Dida collapsed dramatically after being hit in the face towards the end of Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at Celtic Park. He was eventually stretchered off but has been criticised for overreacting.

Ancelotti said: "In the last few years Dida has shown great sportsmanship, but he made an error, I do not know why. He has made a mistake, but that is that."

UEFA has asked Milan to explain why Dida was substituted and Ancelotti said: "The doctor could not know the extent of the damage and preferred to avoid any risks."

Dida's team-mate, Kaka, also felt his reaction was a mistake. "He made his choice and we will support him even though what he did was wrong. It was a difficult moment for him," Kaka told the club's official website.

"He had just let in a goal, then there was the slap from that fan."

The supporter who confronted Dida, Robert McHendry, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday and admitted breaching the peace. Sentencing of the 27-year-old was deferred until 2 November.

Meanwhile, UEFA has launched an investigation into the incident and could punish Celtic, although they are unlikely to forfeit the match.

UEFA's control and disciplinary body will deal with the case at their next disciplinary meeting on 11 October.

Reports suggest that the most likely outcome is a heavy, six-figure fine for the Scottish club. They are also likely to be given a warning that another incident will lead to Uefa forcing the club to play behind closed doors.

Source: BBC Sport

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