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Diving players are not the only cheats

9 January 2014 by

Recently, the media has donated much print space and air time on the subject of players diving. The words cheat and cheating has become a regular entry in many a match report. However, in our hearts we all know that players have cheated for many years. Simulation is by no means a modern occurrence in the game, and I’m not just talking about the overseas game.

Firstly, we have to look at what is cheating. If we decide that cheating is gaining an advantage over your opponents by means that are outside the rules of the game, then our game is rife with the problem and always has been. For example, what is the difference between trying to convince a ref that you have been fouled when you have not, and a defender raising his arm to claim an attacker is offside when he knows all to well that he is not? Is not every foul that takes place on the pitch in fact cheating, when a ball leaves the pitch for a corner or throw in and players from both sides raise their arms for the decision to be in their favour, surely someone is cheating.

all of this seems to be acceptable, but if a player feigns a foul, he is pilloried. And if the ref is of the opinion that the player has ‘simulated’, he must caution him. So why is this not the case for false appealing?

then we come to us fans. God bless us, the bread and butter of the game. But oh how we cheat for our team. A ball is crossed into our opponents penalty area, strikes a defender on the chest, we saw it, we all know it hit him on the chest, but in unison, we stand in our thousands, arms raised and yell ‘HANDBALL’. The ref waves play on, so we turn to option B, ‘YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING’. Option B will not get us our penalty, but it may help next time when one of our players is tackled in the box.

Recently I was watching my team when an opposing forward burst clear and into our area, one of our defenders made a clumsy ‘at best’ tackle. Bolted on penalty, the ref blew, then gave us a free kick and booked the forward for simulation! The entire home support cheered, and then to rub salt into the wound, heckled the player as a cheat for the rest of the game. (You can always rely on a football fan to pounce on an opportunity). A fellow season ticket holder who sits behind me the leant forward and said to me in a hushed voice ‘we got away with that one’. Not sure why the hushed voice, I can only assume he thought if the ref heard him he might reverse the decision.

yes, players dive. Yes, players cheat, but so do us fans, and long may it continue because without the cheats we would not have our villains, and what good is a game of football on a Saturday afternoon without a good old villain to jeer.

Long May the cheats continue to prosper.

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One Comment »

  • john coyle

    Hello, Further to Sepp Blatter’s attack on ‘Penalty Cheats’
    i hope the following will be of interest to you as a followers of Football.

    can send diagrams explaining my idea,

    I hope by this approach you have the contacts to help put this forward, that you could take this on as a serious project to see it through however far it goes,

    N.B. at a preseason workshop for referees at our regional HQ we were advised to look at the approach angle when a player is bearing down on goal,where he was fouled ( as shown on plan Option 2), whether he was inside or outside this zone, would the player be classed as ‘an obvious’ Goal scoring opportunity.

    Law 1 – Field of Play (at present)
    The Goal Area
    Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 5.5 m (6 yds) from the
    inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance
    of 5.5 m (6 yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The
    area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.
    AMENDED TO
    The ‘Goal – Penalty’ Area – Option 1 (see additional diagram for Option 2)
    Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 5.5 m (6 yds) from the
    inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance
    of 5.5 m (6 yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The
    area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.
    Two lines are then drawn from the corners of the goal area line
    to extend into the field of play for a distance of 11 m (12 yds).
    The area bounded by the goal line and the penalty area line with the two lines
    drawn at right angles to the goal line is the ‘goal – penalty’ area.
    (see attached amended plans)

    The Penalty Area renamed as The ‘Goalkeeping’ Area
    ———————————————————————————————————
    Benefits of proposal:-

    1. It would enable a referee’s decision making in this ‘Goal – Penalty’ Area
    to be more clear cut regarding justification for a penalty – the angle to the
    goal is head on and a player would be in a position in this area to deny the
    opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

    2. The area inside the ‘Goalkeeping’ Area and outside the ‘Goal – Penalty’ Area
    could be re-designated for Direct/Indirect Free kicks, enabling where there
    is uncertainty in decision making and harshness in regard to the acute angle

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