Delving into Diving

The ugly head of diving has once again arisen with some of the Premier Leagues best players happy to fashion it. With players of such quality why do they really need to try and deceive the referee and cheat their way into winning positions?

In recent weeks Luis Suarez has been making headlines with his on-field antics, none more so than against Stoke, when in the area he decides to flop towards the ground after minimal contact, only to be told to climb to his feet and get on with it, to his disbelief!

He claims himself that he is treated unfairly by referees and in some cases he does have a point, Leon Barnett climbing all over him against Norwich is a clear case when he should have been awarded a penalty. Barnett clearly climbs on, trips and elbows Suarez in the area, only to rush towards the referee claiming it was a dive.

It is not only Suarez that has been at fault for this recently with Gareth Bale making a clown out of himself against Aston Villa, when he dived to the ground without Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan going anywhere near him. But to Bales credit he didn’t claim a foul and Guzan saw the funny side to the moment.
In situations like these it does make me wonder if it is because of the reputation of a player that the referee doesn’t make the correct decision and thinks “he has dived before so why not again.”
I don’t see there being any quick way of cutting diving out of football as it is always easy to go down under a little bit  of pressure and know the decision is going your way. But I do agree with Stoke boss Tony Pulis in saying; “They [the FA] are really quick to pull people up on incidents that they think are bookable or sending-off incidents and I think they should pull people up for diving and give them a three-game ban straight away.”

Fairly often the FA will accept appeals against red cards being handed out incorrectly and so why can’t it be the other way round and like in rugby cite a player for wrong doing within a game?
I think this would make the game a lot fairer and would see the amount of diving which is creeping back into the game slowly disappear.

Joe Aird