The media have labelled diving for many a year, as being a “foreign disease” which has been brought into our English league from foreign players from other leagues in Spain or Italy but this “foreign disease” which the media like us to believe, has now spread into an embarrassing English epidemic. The media have tried to put the blame on the “foreign players” for too long but we know need to stop pretending that this level of deceit is a “foreign disease” and diving, is something which British players also indulge in; Ashley Young dives, Wayne Rooney dives, Theo Walcott dives, Gareth Bale dives. They are just few names of British players who are guilty of diving.
Diving is something which is staining the beautiful game and radical action is needed in the culture of football to prevent it happening, cheating is something which shouldn’t be encouraged or tolerated in football. The Premier League and The FA must act quickly to control diving before it takes over the game. This must be done by introducing some form of radical punishment which goes beyond just a yellow card. If you dive once and referee catches the player than they should be cautioned but if the same player dives three or more times a more severe form of punishment must be implemented by the FA to control the culture of diving. How many times this season or previous seasons have we seen the same players diving or feign injuries to get the opposition player sent off?
Diving hasn’t gone unnoticed on the international stage in the game and the FIFA Vice-president Jim Boyce has labelled diving as being the “cancer” in football which will kill the game off and needs cutting out, by calling for all guilty players to be banned retrospectively. Boyce, who is Great Britain’s representative on the FIFA board, said: ‘I have seen several incidents recently and I watched the latest Suarez incident two or three times. To me it is nothing less than a form of cheating. It is becoming a little bit of a cancer within the game and I believe if it is clear to everyone that it is simulation then that person is trying to cheat and they should be severely punished. It can be dealt with retrospectively by disciplinary committees, and it is done so in some associations, and I believe that is the correct thing to do. It can at times be very hard for referees to judge whether something is a foul or a fair tackle and if players are diving then it makes their job even harder.’
Stoke boss Tony Pulis reignited the debate of diving when he called Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s dive against his side against Liverpool an ‘embarrassment’. Pulis called for players who found guilty of diving to receive a three-match ban, but simulation is currently only a yellow card offence. It needs harsher punishment to prevent diving in the game. The FA does not allow players to be punished retrospectively but they need to be reviewed.
In truth, diving is, and always will be, a part of the game. It is too easy for a player to fall over in the box in hopes of winning a penalty, and the reward is too great. Our English game has an endemic problem of cheating and lack of respect by players, the media like to blame this culture on being a “foreign disease” but as we can see watching the game week in and out in the Premier League, British players are as guilty of it too. Diving is the most elaborate form of cheating in the game in professional game which stems from a basic disrespect and lack of authority for both the opposition and game, as a game played on a level playing field we must be prevented.
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