Last month, help the owner of a major soccer team suggested that the best way to stop soccer flopping was to penalize the fakers.
Now comes word from a World Cup referee who believes that injury fakes could be putting players who are actually hurt on the field at risk. Why? Apparently, game officials like Howard Webb are seeing so much “diving” by pro players that they just expect that they’re faking and may not call for medical help as quickly as they should.
And Webb should know: he’s credited with getting Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba quick treatment after he collapsed on the field back in March . . . and that quick action could have saved his life. (Muamba’s heart stopped beating toward the end of a match but was revived.) That’s a scary thought knowing your life is on the line because someone else grabbed a knee that wasn’t really hurt.
Of course, to stop the diving, you’ll have to convince players it’s in their own best interest to stop doing something they’ve been doing their entire careers and actually play the game with some class. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for FIFA to have someone like Webb pitch this idea to players, but the reality is that soccer diving will stop when players no longer see it as an advantage.
But it’s hard for game officials to tell a faker from a real injury in the moment, so maybe it’s time for video review that could be done post game and players would be penalized in later games. Just a thought.
Source: USA Today