No one could ever condone a fan running on to the pitch and slapping a player – especially after said player had just let in a goal in a big game. But did you see the antics of Milan’s keeper, Dida, in the Celtic game recently? He was stroked on the face – no more – by a fan and went down like he’d caught a right-cross from Ali flush on the turnip.
The idiot fan later owned up and has been banned for life. Quite right. But the Milan keeper looks set to get away with his shameful pantomime – which included an ice pack for his tickled jaw and a stretcher from the pitch. Surely Uefa need to censure him too? Footballers deserve protection – yes. But they also have to earn our respect as great sports people – which includes getting on with their job, come what may. And not trying to cheat. Because he was, after all, attempting to fool us and the ref into thinking he was seriously injured. Which is cheating, right?