How do you stop a problem like diving?

By 19 May 2017 10:29

The FA are from next season introducing a panel to decide how to ban players who dive. It's seen as the first step in trying to crack down on simulation in the game as particularly this season has seen a number of occasions where certain players have successfully conned referees to their benefit.

The announcement has been met with disapproval among many managers who believe it isn't a sufficient way to properly tackle a growing problem within the game.

Video technology has constantly been highlighted as the only real definite solution but it seems governing bodies aren't willing to put that particular sanction into practice yet.

So how much good can a panel do? At the moment the only real action taken on a diving incident is whether or not to rescind a card if it has been given to an opposing player after said dive has taken place.

An argument was brought that even if a panel do come to a conclusion (which in some ways doesn't sound a lot different to the regulations that are in place at the moment) on whether or not to sanction a ban for a dive, the player in question could miss future games which could potentially influence their teams result or the oppositions. talk about stating the obvious!

Is this really much of a change to the regulations we have in place now? Players still won't have any action taken against them during games which is the exact reason for their dive in the first place!

There seems only one definite, and let's face it, obvious solution: video technology. It seems though that no matter how much the game cries out for it the pleas are falling on deaf ears. Is it purely a money issue? Is it down to the FA wanting players, managers and fans alike to simply respect the referee's final decision? If that is the case then surely there should be no possibility of players having cards or bans rescinded as that makes a mockery of the official's decisions?

But perhaps the FA is looking at the bigger picture; if you put measures in for diving, where does that lead to? Will shirt pulling be looked at in greater detail? Players holding onto each other near wrestling one another while marking in the box on set pieces? The list goes on.

Players are known to nowadays act completely over the top when it comes to reactions from fouls. It's almost a regular occurrence for a player to attempt a recreation of a Hollywood death scene in order to gain a decision their way from the officials. Maybe governing bodies fear opening a can of worms by hammering down on one particular parts of the game that are deemed unsportsmanlike or simply against the rules.

A solution to shirt pulling is one that is rather tricky as unless it is completely obvious to the referee it's not always easy to spot. Players have been known to sneakily pull their own shirts in such a way as to make it look like an opposing player is doing it themselves, a move dick dastardly would be proud of!

One solution could be to produce a shirt that is easily readable. This was highlighted during the 2016 European championship when Swiss players had their shirts ripped during scuffles with opposing French players. At the time manufacturers Puma were criticised for their produce but many feel the game missed a trick and potentially the idea of easily torn shirts could catch out culprits who commit the foul of shirt pulling, though as mentioned previously a players could take it upon themselves to deceive officials by ripping their own shirts, so many not.

It remains to be seen whether a panel for the new season can make a difference in stamping out diving and simulation once and for all but for the moment it seems as though it's just another way to divert from what the general consensus believes is the best solution.

Source: DSG