There is one thing that really bothers me when it comes to watching Football: the diving, the simulation…the cheating.
As the Science of Sport writes,
Football is a disgraceful fiasco which rewards cheating, even glorifying it.
From the first whistle to the last, players in football will seek to gain any advantage, no matter what level of cheating it requires.
Penalties are won by dives, players are sent off thanks to play-acting (just ask the Ivory Coast for their diabolical cheat against Brazil), and generally, matches resemble the WWE more than they do a competitive sports event.
All very pertinant points I agree with. However I disagee with one of his concluding statements:
…retroactive censure for these players could go a long way to stamping it out of the game.
Yes, to a point in ‘lower’ level games. But this would not stop diving, simulation, claiming fouls, or blatantly handling the ball on your own line to prevent (or score) a goal in the World Cup Final. Why not? Because players would happily take financial loss or match bans if it means their team could win the World Cup.
What is needed is a set of rules that will stop, what I see to be, the worst part of what is otherwise a beautiful game.
And here they are:
- A challenge system. Similar to Tennis, where each Captain is given 3 challenges per half that can be used to contest decisions made by the referee. They could be reviewed by a third official and ruled upon accordingly. If the Captain is correct then the desicion is reversed and they maintain their challege.
- Simulation is a red card offence. This includes over-acting when there is a genuine foul. In accordance with the above rule, I believe this would eliminate play acting and diving almost overnight.
- A ‘penalty goal’ can be awarded in a similar fashion to Rugby’s Penalty Try: “If a player would probably have scored a [goal] but for foul play by an opponent”. For example, a player hitting the ball away on their own goal line would qualify under this rule.
What do you think? What are the loop-holes?
Tidbit: If Spain or Germany win the 2010 World Cup then New Zealand will be the only unbeaten team at the tournament. I can see the t-shirts now…