Football

Diving ban hasn’t gone down too well

Premier League managers don’t half love to moan don’t they. The news that next season players who have been retrospectively found guilty of simulation will be banned for 2 matches, hasn’t gone down as well as you’d expect. Swansea manager Paul Clement and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe both seem to agree that it won’t stop diving and that’ll it be too difficult to judge, with some players getting away with it and others not.

In their opinion, the panel whom will consist of an ex-manager and player, will just confuse matters and the inconsistency will make for a greater sense of injustice. They’d prefer it was dealt with ‘properly’ at the time using video evidence. Sam Allardyce agrees and went further, wondering what will happen to the players who are incorrectly carded for simulation. “Stop paying all these people money to do rubbish situations in the game. That’s utter rubbish.”, is Allardyce’s rather articulate response.

For Allardyce in particular, perhaps it’d be wise for him to quieten down on fairness, ethics and how money is spent and stick to managing Crystal Palace. He’s lucky to have ever been employed by a Premier League club again after his antics.

The Premier League is by no means perfect and surely the aim here is to improve things. The FA may only punish the most obvious offenders and I’m sure that there will still be people who get away with diving but it should reduce it. Surely this is a good thing. The mere deterrent of missing 2 matches is enough to make players think twice about diving. Sean Dyche at least agrees and it good to hear a manager speaking some sense, even if it is from a man who sounds like he’s eaten gravel. Tony Pulis is another in favour of the change.

Yes, in an ideal world it would be good to use video evidence at the time but it has to be practical to do so. Football has enough delays with injuries, substitutions and with the ball going out of play without introducing more. The likes of Neville and Carragher can’t always agree on what was a dive and what wasn’t after the match even when aided by all the slow-mo evidence. It would simply take too long to evaluate during the match and you’d still need the ban to deter players from trying their luck anyway.

A ban such as this is long overdue in my opinion. A couple of decades ago diving was something seemingly limited to the European leagues, for whom we were told was just part of their culture. I remember being quite shocked as a youngster when seeing the likes of Fillipo Inzaghi go to ground like a tonne of bricks with clearly no contact. There weren’t even mutliple replays from various angles like there is today.

Scotland are way ahead of us on this one and they’ve had a two match ban in place since 2011/12. As you may have seen from the likes of Hearts’ Jamie Walker, it hasn’t erradicated it completely but it has had a positive effect.

Retrospectively banning a player who cons the referee into giving a penalty of course doesn’t help the team who ‘conceded it’ but again it’s the positive long-term effect we should be focussing.

It also doesn’t help the punter who had Swansea to beat Man Utd only for it to end in a draw as a result of Rashford cheating and later being found guilty but then I’m sure there’s got to be a Paddy Power refund opportunity here.

 

 

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