Ancelotti stands by Dida but says he made a mistake

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MILAN, Oct 6 (Reuters) AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said goalkeeper Dida made a mistake in collapsing to the floor after being slapped by a Celtic fan on Wednesday.

UEFA have opened a disciplinary case against the Scottish side after the supporter invaded the pitch and approached Dida following Celtic's last-gasp winner in the 2-1 Champions League victory over the European champions.

The European governing body has also asked Milan why Dida was substituted. There was minimal contact between the fan and the keeper, who initially gave chase before suddenly collapsing to the ground and being carried off.

''In the course of the last few years Dida has demonstrated great sportsmanship and fair play,'' Ancelotti told a news conference today.

''The other night he made an error, I do not know why he did that. I think he has made a mistake but that is that. The doctor could not know the extent of the damage and preferred to avoid any risks.'' Italian media, as well as criticising the Brazilian for his dramatic fall, blamed him for the two Celtic goals and have speculated that Milan are looking for another keeper.

Reports said the European champions nearly bought Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon during the close season but were put off by the price. Ancelotti backed Dida for tomorrow's Serie A trip to Lazio and denied he was on his way out.

''Dida is the goalkeeper of Milan, the issue is closed and finished,'' he added.

Milan, who are struggling in Serie A, have defensive problems for Sunday's game with left back Marek Jankulovski ruled out with a knee injury while Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf and Massimo Ambrosini are slight doubts.


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