Sure enough, it’s another rant on diving by me. But this time I go into a little more details on why it will remain a problem for some time and ideas on how to rid of it.
Idea #1: Get rid of Sepp Blatter.
That’s kind of a given. A lot of things would be taken care of with a more efficient head-of-FIFA.
Anyways, let’s start with the main problems on the subject.
The referees do not have the luxury of the video replays and different camera angles that we do at home so, to put the burden on them to call out dives on the spot is kind of a dick move. It seems like that’s the only REAL action that FIFA has done to “combat” the situation is give the referees the option to book someone for simulation. With the game as fast paced as it is, (unless you’re watching Barca up 1-0) that’s an almost impossible request.
Another problem is the fact that pretty much any contact can be deemed illegal nowadays. Now I’m not suggesting that we go back to the slightly barbaric defending that was in the black-and-white TV days, but I think they’ve made the refs a little too liberal with the whistle when it comes to challenges that will, inevitably, involve contact. Some games I watch and it seems like bumping into someone is a foul which makes player want to dive more than they did in the tunnel. Which brings me to my next point.
Because of the aforementioned statement about contact, it’s clearly more beneficial to take a dive in the modern game. As much as I hate to say it, and certainly don’t condone it, diving seems like a good strategic way to not only find your team in a better position, but to get back at other players as well.
For most it’s a no-brainer that if you can fool the referee into giving a decision your way, take it. That and the fact that tempers can start to boil over in high-intensity games, it would carry less punishment to dive when the going gets rough than to confront the opposing player, no matter how big of a dick he can be. Ask Sergio Agüero and Joey Barton about this fact.
I’m not saying that conflicts should be resolved by trading hay-makers but pointing out why players would want to dive.
Now, look at the way the FA and FIFA in general handle violent conduct, they launch entire investigations on people for Chrissakes. They reviewed the recent incidents involving Everton’s Fellaini for a couple of days before putting a foot up his ass. The Joey Barton incident didn’t stop at the red card at the end of last season, oh no, they went Gestapo on his ass.
Which begs the question: Why don’t the governing bodies of football only ask of referees to book the most obvious dives like 1/3 Suarez tumbles and the really bad Phil Neville act; and give it a couple of days to REALLY look into it.
Whatever group of plonkers are handling the “War on diving” in the governing bodies of football ought to think about taking it upon themselves to review possible dives multiple times, with multiple people the following days after the alleged dive, then come crashing down on players with an instant match ban for a first offence if found guilty.
Hopefully it won’t be any more of a blunder than the “Kick It Out” campaign.
It obviously won’t be an overnight fix, but it’s a start if I’ve ever seen one.