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.
So, finally someone in the world of professional football (soccer) has admitted that so-called “divers” (because they dive to the ground clutching a non-injured leg) are damaging the sport and, if caught, they should be banned for three games.
Well, duh? It took them this long to see this is a problem? (Watch the video below for some classic dive examples.) At the World Cup two years ago, the diving reached comical proportions.
But now, Arsene Wenger, the manager of the Arsenal Football Club which plays in the Premiere League in the United Kingdom. Wenger is upset after several suspect penalty calls in recent weeks, including two caused by player Ashley Young of rival Manchester United that lead to penalty kick goals for his team. Unfortunately, with just a couple of umpires on the large field at any time, one of the reasons soccer players feel they can get away with dives is that the great distance between them and the officials. And because no one remembers your “broken leg” two minutes later.
Maybe they need a “Dive Replay Expert” up in the booth? Or maybe, just maybe, they could teach soccer players to focus on playing the game and not their acting careers.
Nothing unusual about professional soccer players falling every time a stiff breeze blows. What is different about this video is that the player falls and then a teammate tries to help him up . . . like even HE doesn’t buy the dive. Of course, the faking player (some guy named Pepe) won’t have any of it, pushes his teammate away and even kicks at him (with his “broken” leg) before getting up. A classic by any measure.