So Saturday was yet another day when a footballer was accused of diving.
Santi Cazorla was the subject of a diving claim on Saturday, after giving the impression he had been caught by West Brom’s Steven Reid, which led to Arsenal being awarded a penalty by referee Mike Jones.
It feels like diving is like a disease spreading over English football, it seems diving is becoming a common occurrence, whether it is Luis Suárez, Gareth Bale, Ashley Young or some other player who appears to have tried to be opportunistic.
So with it seeming that accusations of diving are increasing; it feels like the obvious option would be to enforce retrospective bans on dives. However, a rule like this does not exist in FIFA laws, so the FA can make up its own rules on this. Additionally, FIFA do not seem to be even keen on the idea, fearing it makes the referee look supreme and that it could start a precedent of incidents being re-refereed at later dates.
An FA spokesman has also indicated that change will not be coming soon saying: “While stakeholders in the English game continually review their agreed position regarding retrospective action, there are no plans currently to apply it to simulation.”
However, could it be said that ignoring diving is not going to get rid of the problem, but make it worse? Even Arsène Wenger himself said earlier this year: “If an obvious dive is punished by a three-match ban, players would not do it anymore.”
It could be said that if players had the impression that they were going to face a lengthy ban for falling down too easily, they may not be so keen to dive.
It seems like the FA has not done much to tackle the problem, how many times has Luis Suárez been punished for diving despite being caught doing it on many occasions?
Other potential options are also open to the FA. Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association believes technology should be used to help referees come to the right decisions. This could be a good idea, and could ensure that the referee is really sure of a decision, with some believing Mike Jones made the call on the incident between Santi Cazorla and Steven Reid without knowing for certain whether Steven Reid had committed a foul or not, that he may have thought it was a foul from the angle he saw it from.
Another idea that has been suggested is having additional referees behind goal. UEFA president Michel Platini seems to believe in this option, while Pierluigi Collina feels it has reduced incidents. However, it has been claimed how it has not had a distinct effect on the amount of diving incidents at Champions League matches.
Although it could be said that reducing diving dramatically may not be possible. Is it a problem that the mentality of certain players cannot be changed? Even Santi Cazorla himself said that “it’s not something that should be a big controversy.”
So, should the FA do more to tackle diving? Well, it seems that the problem is not getting nearer to an end, and with it appearing that more players are diving; can the FA really ignore the issue?