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It is time to get tough on cheating divers
1:48pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
LET’S get one thing clear: diving on a football pitch is cheating.
Never mind all this ‘simulation’ business, it’s cheating, pure and simple. A court of law might call it fraud.
Once again, the subject is back in the headlines after Manchester United’s Ashley Young’s theatrics against Crystal Palace.
A lot has been made of David Moyes taking the moral high ground by “having a word” with Young in private after he was booked for diving in an attempt to get a penalty.
Interestingly, in April 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes’ predecessor, also “had a word” with the player after he threw himself to the ground against Aston Villa.
Young obviously hasn’t learnt his lesson. Or, as is possible, doesn’t want to. If he knows there’s a chance he can get away with it, he’ll keep doing it.
The yellow card he was given against Crystal Palace was nothing more than a slap on the wrist. With such a paltry punishment, it could be seen as a gamble worth taking - a booking or a potential penalty.
The consequences need to be tougher; much tougher.
Fining millionaire footballers is a waste of time, plus it needs to be the same at all levels of the game. Referees can start by brandishing red cards to divers.
A three-game ban might make players think twice.
Another option could be to dock points from teams of serial offenders.
Use retrospective video evidence to highlight and shame the culprits, even though that would obviously only be at matches with cameras.
Anything to rid the game of this scourge.
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