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Dive, Dive, Dive!
Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago

I am getting to a point where whilst watching football I have to have only soft things around me so when I get vexed I can throw whatever is at hand at the TV.

'Calm down Matt' you might say 'What is the cause of your ire?" you will continue. 'Diving' I will reply and then you as a right minded person will also start throwing stuff at my TV.

I am tired of pundits and fans of the team with the diver in them trotting out the usual 'It's just part of the modern game' or 'The players have to do it to let the ref know that they are sure the player who didn't touch them was about to so they saw the future and reacted like they did in the alternative future where they had actually been touched'. OK so that second one is not so common and the person that said it is now limited to writing in crayon or faecal matter but you get the point.

It is cheating. Plain and simple no 'ifs', 'buts' or 'maybes' the players that dive do so to gain an advantage in the game and in that respect it is no different to drug taking or fielding twelve players. Yet it goes unpunished week in and week out and due to this lack of punishment it goes viral. Players see the lack of punishment and the potential gains and see nothing wrong in trying it or even feel they are at a disadvantage if they don't.

The FA's stance on diving is that it can only take retrospective action for unseen red card offences and cannot act on matters that would only see a yellow card. Which is understandable as the amount of work they would have to do to go through every match and pick up every missed yellow card would take an enormous amount of time. The problem is, diving unlike any other foul is never unseen it is always witnessed by the ref or it would be pointless.

So the situation is that a player dives the ref then does one of three things.
1. Give the freekick/penalty - Cheaters Win!
2. Wave play on - Oh well better luck next time, free go!
3. Book the player for simulation - Oh well better luck next time, -1 life!

This weekend saw two blatant dives by Bale and Suarez in both incidents the referee opted for option 2 and did nothing. Tony Pulis is calling for three match bans for players who dive and I agree completely with that. The FA must also go further and upgrade the punishment from a yellow card offence to a straight red or at the very least insist on referees following the laws and booking players.

If the FA did this then diving would disappear overnight and I could start watching the football again without clearing the area first.

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
[account-removed] 4 years ago
Excuse a long winded story, but it feels like the only way to express my frustration at modern day diving by footballers.

This image, is of my school.

Living in a extremely sunny and dry tropical city, none of the schools could even dream of affording grass on the grounds. We had sand with stones in them, some sharp. And yet, we dived into tackles, dived to make saves, dived to try and score headers. We'd always scrape something, and the school kits, which were white once a week.... Would be stained with blood, torn in multiple places.... And our efforts would get us into trouble with both teachers and parents at home. However, all we ever did, was brush off the dirt, tie a cloth around the bruise and carry on with the game.... Not even a foul called for we had no referees. We were boys of 12-15. We were more men than modern footballers, whining about how they need protection from the big baddies.

I agree with you absolutely. It is cheating. Players get backed blindly by the fans of their own club, who try and find an excuse. "He's protecting himself from being hurt from what could have resulted in an injury. Look at his speed, would have banged him up hard". If someone runs into a player chest forward, the player will tumble, get disoriented for a few seconds, and will be able to continue. If they are coming close to your feet in a rash tackle, use your brains and agility and jump over the tackle. If it is not this excuse, it is "every player dives in the box".

Gareth Bale incident mentioned up there is one such incident. I can stake my life savings, that if Lennon would have come across the same challenge, he would have jumped over any possible slide, and cross the ball back into the middle of the box. Lennon's faster than Bale, and well, sorry Bale, but Lennon would not have cheated in that case, hoping for a cheap penalty.

The FA is too scared to act. The FA banning the Ronaldos, the Bales, the Nanis, the Suarez.... The big name flair players would lead to a drop in popularity of the league. Players will want to move to a league where they will be protected a lot more. Any action, needs to come in from Fifa.

And then there's Stepp Blatter. I guess he'd recommend a handshake, or a hug
Prophet88 (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Now here are some examples of Suarez diving....By far the worst cases in diving done by a single player.

Here is the most recent one....No contact and still falling over twice

Here's the one agains City....Look at the way he is falling down it looks he got into a car accident.

Here's the other against Arsenal, Schezny didn't even touch him and he starts falling over quite evident from his body.

Also, this one last season, Rodwell getting red card for it created a big incident and the ref even admitted being wrong later

Oh and this one is just ....I don't know what say just watch it.

Him at Ajax...Horrific lunging tackle yet he is one crying after whereas the opponent just walks off.

And this is the game against Spurs right after he had served his 8 match ban....Its not a dive but adding fuel to fire in regards to his character.

I am not trying to vilify a player but when one does it so many times and evidently so....There has to be some repercussion
ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
ManUK (Manchester United) 4 years ago
I don't believe anyone was talking about that Dan. So I'm not sure if you have a point or are just spitting things out in anger
Zhenwei (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Hmm, I believe Many players including Manchester United players dive too. So, Dan's making the point which is valid.

Theres little point in singling out specific players like suarez
ManUK (Manchester United) 4 years ago
The discussion was actually talking about Suarez (among others) and not about managers telling their players to dive.

If you want to bring it up then fair enough, but at least give an explanation
ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Anyone remember this?    
   Happened not long ago at all
ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
+ media blasting Suarez at every opportunity. Pulis lash at Suarez (even though Huth stamped on his chest before the dive), FIFA Vice President labeling him a 'cheat', Stoke player publicly lashing out, Koscielny calling him a cheat. What did Ferguson say last season? Oh yeah that Suarez is a disgrace and shouldn't be able to play for Liverpool. How ironic coming from Fergie
Prophet88 (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Again, you're mending the facts to your advantage. Fergie said those things about Suarez after his refusal to shake Evra's hand following the racist incident. He actually had a level of respect for Liverpool in that interview mentioning how great and iconic the football club of Liverpool stature and that suarez with his antics related to the racism issue shouldn't be playing for such an iconic club.

You guys are so bitter, now you cannot stand your own club being praised.... Get some perspective on facts mate
ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Lol you love throwing the word bitter around. I'll take a tall bitter beer

ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
Or am I to bitter to drink one? Lol
[account-removed] 4 years ago
Diving in the penalty box should clearly be punished with a red card. If denying the opposition a clear goalscoring opportunity in an unfair way means being sent off, then why trying to get such an opportunity for your team in similar fashion should be treated any different?
The only problem is that it's sometimes really hard to say whether something was a foul, an accidental collision or a dive. Probably most of the time in such cases the referee just pretends nothing happened. If they were obliged to give a red card to the diver they would probably be even less inclined to take action in fear of making a crucial mistake.
That's why it would probably be best to punish divers after the game, based on video replays analysis. I remember there was supposed diving by Eduardo in Celtic - Arsenal game (he was found not guilty however) and UEFA wanted to suspend him for that. I wonder why aren't there more such cases
Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago
The good thing is if the FA did make it a red card offence and it was missed by the referee under their own current laws they would be able to go back and review the situation
ASFedayn (AS Roma) 4 years ago
The problem with your argument is that the analogy doesn't work at all. Denying a player of a clear goal-scoring opportunity AND as the last man, does not at all equal a gamble on whether a dive could potentially get me a free kick or a penalty kick. Those situations are not the same at all. Usually fouls that get awarded a red card are of reckless nature and very dangerous for the person getting fouled.... The same cannot be said for a dive.
Diving is just another infraction, like throwing an elbow or pulling a shirt. And just like every infraction it comes with consequences. Automatic yellow card.
Also, just like every infraction, it is spotted at times and not at others. It happens and it's the beauty of the game
HangTime (Chelsea) 4 years ago
I am a soccer coach at a high school in my aren (USA). Last month, we lost to a team we should had beaten. We lost because they had two espanich kid that dove in the penalty box (both of them went down very easily) and the referee award them two penalties. We los the game 4-2. Diving has got to be punished at the professional level. I just can't believe they will dive when there are thousand of people watching them play and probably millions watching on tv
ASFedayn (AS Roma) 4 years ago
Without the dives you still would have tied :S  Also, I am not sure why it matters that the kids were "espanich" lol
ManUK (Manchester United) 4 years ago
It's "hispanic" lol and it shouldn't have anything to do with it. In america the players with ball control and skills often are associated with diving, mostly unfairly

And just to be clear, I really despise diving. I'm all for bans being instituted in the prem
DiegoFrodo (Barcelona) 4 years ago
Yea, great moral authority you have you racist f**k
LedleyKingsKnee (Tottenham Hotspur) 4 years ago
Fines. The only language a lot of these players understand is money. Fine them. ALOT.    I'm sure you'll see less diving gradually.
Reubinho (Feyenoord) 4 years ago
I understand diving is cheating, but what I don't get is that is that so many people go completely crazy when they see a player diving, yet when someone get's badly injured because of a bad tackle it's "part of the game. " I think intentionally hurting someone is worse than trying to get a free kick or even a penalty by going down easily. I'm not saying it's a good thing, and I'm still very much against it, but dirty tackles that have a chance of breaking someone's legs are a lot more disgusting to me than diving. That might just be the generation gap between me and older people though, since I've never watched football in the days before players started diving. Anyway, those are just my thoughts
Ltm017 4 years ago
How do you even compare the two? You do know players get red cards for tackles that seem dangerous right? I agree with you than intentionally hurting someone is worse, but I just don't see why you would bring this into a conversation that is specifically talking about one aspect of the game.

Just because one causes physical harm doesn't mean people shouldn't hate it or try to eradicate it from the game.

Brutally beating someone is a crime.
Cheating someone out of money is a crime.

Just because one is a lesser crime doesn't mean it shouldn't get attention especially when it's becoming so prevalent.

I guess you are trying to say fans pay more attention to diving than intentionally hurting player? I don't agree, I think fans are just as outraged.

Anyway I think all fan bases are biased and when it is for the benefit of their team you hear excuses on why it wasn't a dive. I don't understand why more shouldn't be done. I'm all for fining. I don't believe it should be a red card because it shouldn't affect the entire team. However, fining one or two players may cause them to think about it next time.

Also the truth of the matter is the game allows for certain advantages. Sometimes I player can stay on their feet even when there is enough contact, but what is the incentive when the ref can just call it, and you get a free kick or a penalty? It's as much the fault of the system as it is the players
ASFedayn (AS Roma) 4 years ago
"Brutally beating someone is a crime.
Cheating someone out of money is a crime. "
By the same token a harsh tackle is a foul that comes with a sanction, exactly like a dive. So honestly, the entire conversation is moot.

Also, on your last point I completely don't agree. I think you are looking at the wrong party here. You focus on the incentive of a player to stay on their feet. Reverse the angle and look at the defender. If there is sufficient contact for a foul, then it's the defender at fault and not the striker who flops. There is never a need for a foul.... Perfect example, Cannavaro during the 2006 WC. Impenetrable and, if I am not wrong, he didn't get whistled 1 single foul against
ASFedayn (AS Roma) 4 years ago
Like I said in an answer, diving is an infraction and it comes with consequences. However, just like every other infraction, it is not always seen or sanctioned. How many shorts get ridiculously pulled on every single corner kick? Aren't those players trying "to gain an advantage in the game"? Yes. But somehow those behaviors, together with harsh tackles are much more accepted, although a lot more dangerous and perverse to this sport, than dives.
What about wingers or strikers who wait for the ball slightly offside? Aren't they trying "to gain an advantage in the game" that is unfair? Should we card them as well?
Unpredictability is what makes this game great.
In my opinion this entire discussion has very little merit. There are rules and sanctions against dives as there are rules and sanctions against other types of behaviors. The referee is a human being and as such, often they see dives and punish them. Sometimes they don't. It happens and it IS indeed part of this beautiful game.
Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago
The point of this discussion is that the sanctions and methods used to police diving are not far reaching enough.

Pointing out other things that are also wrong in the game does not constitute a reason not to change something. The fact that there is shirt pulling does that mean they should not implement goal line technology? Etc. Etc.

You are also incorrect when it comes to the subject of 'hard tackles' if a tackle is considered dangerous and is missed by the referee then the FA are able to review it a impose a ban or fine they deem appropriate
Tbuchanan29 (Newcastle United) 4 years ago
If the point of the referee is to make sure the rules are being followed, and the rules are obviously not being followed, then there is something flawed about the system of refereeing. If people are getting away with cheating, then there is something flawed about the game itself, and the game needs to be fixed
Ssoblasted (Chelsea) 4 years ago
LOL I agree with the luiz suarez pic, but is the other Gareth Bale?    Bale tends to dive alot?
Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago
Yes. Yes he does.    
ScouserDan (Liverpool) 4 years ago
"First things first, Luis Suarez dived during Liverpool’s home game against Stoke City last weekend and it was as abhorrent as it was ridiculous. Let’s get that out of the way because no one should be under the misapprehension that what follows is in any way a defence of the Uruguayan or any of his vertically challenged colleagues in the Premier League including Gareth Bale and Ashley Young, to name but two. "

"The dives that Bale and Suarez committed last Sunday were not even particularly good ones. They were more Greg Louganis (fortunately there was no board to crack their heads against) than Tom Daley and the only saving grace was that the sheer awfulness of their execution ensured that no match officials were taken in by their antics. "

"But amidst the avalanche of moral high ground-adopting opprobrium that followed, there was something seemingly innocent that was, if not equally as sinister as outright and blatant cheating, then certainly concerning. That is the widely held idea that because Suarez and Bale dived, and had been caught out doing so, they cannot expect to get decisions when they really are fouled. "

"It is a "boy who cried wolf" argument and it is one that is continually put forward whenever referees get a big decision wrong involving a player with a certain reputation. Last week, Graham Poll, himself a former referee, used his weekly column in a national newspaper column to pursue that angle as he argued that Suarez could not expect to be awarded a penalty when he was brought down against Norwich City because he had previous. "

“The Uruguay striker has attracted a reputation for diving, which is now resulting in him - and his club - being deprived of spot kicks, ” Poll wrote. “Suarez was brought down by Norwich’s Leon Barnett as he bore down on goal. "

“It was one of the easiest decisions of the season and yet Jones, a competent referee, waved appeals away. The fact that it was Suarez again can only leave the impression that it is his reputation as a player who goes down too easily that is affecting referees’ decision making. ”

"First and foremost, it should be noted that Poll described it as “one of the easiest decisions of the season" and that’s exactly what it was. Jones – who earlier this season had failed to spot that a header by Everton’s Victor Anichebe against Newcastle United had crossed the goalline – somehow interpreted Leon Barnett grappling with Suarez and then felling him from behind with an elbow to the shoulder as nothing more than two players coming together in the box. "

"Television replays were not required to reveal it to be an abysmal decision by a leading referee. This was not, as was the case in another incident involving Suarez the previous week when he got a slight touch to the ball before being tripped by Manchester United’s Johnny Evans, a difficult decision to make. It could not be justified by highlighting past indiscretions from Suarez any more than a policeman failing to recognise and deal suitably with a street assault because the victim has previous. It was rank bad refereeing, a failure to spot a very obvious offence at what was a crucial juncture in the game. "

"What happened during Liverpool’s goalless draw with Stoke City the week after does not change that. If Suarez was the villain against Stoke then he was the victim at Carrow Road. You can’t have a system of rules with the aim of justice if it punishes the former but fails to recognise the latter, especially if the system is governed by something as subjective and easily manipulated as reputation. "

"Suarez should have been booked for his dive and he should have been awarded a penalty for being fouled. It really is that simple and any attempts to justify any player not getting the decisions they deserve is a distortion of what the laws of football are supposed to stand for. "

"The rules of the game are supposed to apply to every player equally. Each incident in which a foul may or may not have been committed should be judged on its relative merits, not on the identity of the players involved. If we go down any other route then fair play and the integrity of the game are brought into question to a much greater extent than by a dive, no matter how unpalatable and unacceptable simulation may be. "

"It is all about the laws of the game they said when a young player was booked recently for lifting his shirt over his head to display a message in support of the Hillsborough families after scoring a goal. The rules are quite clear that such gestures are not allowed and therefore the player in question had to be given a yellow card. There is no room for human nature to take over and recognise it for what it was, so the argument goes. Instead it has to be treated as an act that is in contravention to the rules and as such the perpetrator must be punished. "

"That’s all well and good but you can’t have referees choosing when they are “only human” and when they are not. They can’t be influenced by the rules and the rules alone when it suits them only to decide that they are, after all, a moveable feast when it does not. "

"Again, their ultimate responsibility is to judge any given situation according to the laws that they are charged with enforcing, any other influences are superfluous and contrary to their responsibilities. "

"None of which is to suggest that any referees who do fall into the trap of judging situations on reputation are in any way abnormal. It is, as Poll suggests, only human nature. But the point is that they should not be excused when they err by doing so. It is a mitigating factor, not a justification. "

"When the Premier League fixtures resume after the international break the strong likelihood is that at least one of the players mentioned at the very start of this blog will (if fit) be involved in another penalty controversy. "

"Bale, Young and Suarez all run with the ball, they all take players, they all invite challenges from opponents and they have all won penalties as a result. They have also all dived and as such have a reputation for doing so whether they like it or not. But when any of the trio does tumble – under undue and illegal pressure or not – then if the referee in question is influenced by anything other than the incident itself he will be doing his own industry and football a disservice that both could do without. "

-Tony Barrett (

Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago
It is strange you have posted this as me and a Liverpool supporter friend of mine were discussing this very issue.

My argument is that if diving was eradicated from the game by post game analysis and fines/bans then the players who have a reputation for diving are not only less likely to dive but are more likely to be given penalties/free kicks as the ref's will know the players will be aware if they dive they will be banned and have the safety net of the FA if they get the decision wrong
Rubin (Inter Milan) 4 years ago
I absolutely agree with the author of this article. Diving can easily get removed from the game by showing that yellow card. Referees rarely show their yellow cards for diving and turn a blind eye on most diving cases
Zhenwei (Manchester United) 4 years ago
I believe that Suarez has been a victim of the footballing culture that actually "Encourages" diving.

I'M gonna' admit outright manchester united players DIVE, but it's part of the game. Sadly. As much as I love watching United, it does leave a bad taste when players crash to ground too easily or without contact at all. And from a footballing neutral's perspective it is somewhat killing the game.

As the modern game evolved, players who were applauded for staying on foot despite being challenged get nothing for their "honesty". Instead, an increasing trend of players going down under minimal (or even no contact) wins some decisions over time. I'm putting up a collection of Wayne Rooney's Dive being a United fan just to show that I'm not gonna' entertain biased United fans while making my point that it's a culture we are looking at, not individuals. It's always easy to point fingers at others, but lets try to look at things objectively.

Yes, we do dive. Many others too.

To be honest, I'm not surprised even SAF instructs his players to "dive" or over exaggerate contact to win advantage for the team as Jaap Stam revealed in his auto biography which saf said:"Don't try and stay on your feet if you're in the box and get a slight kick".

The whole culture of trying to win any advantage for the team is part of the game, and the culture is encouraged because nothing has been done to "punish" or correct the behaviours.

Managers, knowing it would give them advantages will instruct their players to go down and win decisions rather than stay up and get nothing.

Players, knowing similarly it would win them advantage for the team will dive, moreover they would be faulted by their managers for not going to ground if there were contact (however minimal) as instructed because it's missing out on a clear chance that gives their team an edge.

Why? It's simple. You dive you may win a penalty/freekick. If you don't get decisions, the worst could just be a booking. It's a clear case of benefit outweighing the punishment.

This promotes the culture of a tendency to go to ground to simply win decisions from officials, even if they don't get them sometimes.

Referees actually have the toughest jobs deciding which are legitimate fouls and which is simulation, and most of the time are victimized for their decisions, or lack of it.

Fifa or the FA needs to come up with a disciplinary panel like other sports to retrospectively punish players for "over-simulation" or simply the conduct that is likened to cheating to protect the game, and the officials who otherwise become victims sometimes.

Lol, but just for some entertainment value we can have a laugh at:

Rubin (Inter Milan) 4 years ago
The guy who takes the opposing player's hand and slaps it to his own face is hilarious. Lol
Dilla (Manchester City) 4 years ago
Agureo is a good example of someone who continually fights to stay on his feet and all it seems to do is give the referees an easy out. If he's still standing then there's no need to blow the whistle, especially in the box. I watch in frustration as tugged, shoved bundled and baited and the refs do nothing but look the other way. If he actually went to ground instead of fighting to stay up then at least it would force the ref to make a decision.

I'm ok with going down easy because to me it's no different to getting away with a blatant foul just because you're in the box - which seems to pass by unnoticed in footballing circles because it's been part of the culture for so long.

To me they are two sides of the same coin
Zhenwei (Manchester United) 4 years ago
@Rubin: lmao, that was by far one of the best hahahaha. Seems Legit lol.

@Dilla: Yea bro, you hit the point exactly. Players going to ground somewhat forces a referee to make a decision.... Even not giving a pk/fk is making a non- decision. Perhaps it's the only way players could let referees know they are being fouled.

By staying on feet, most referees would actually think nothing is wrong
Matt (Footytube Staff) 4 years ago
Excellent post and sums up the problem precisely.

Players/teams that don't dive are currently at a disadvantage this is a situation that only the FA can address before we get players flopping about all over the place
[account-removed] 4 years ago
I hate when player dive. No contact and they flop on the floor.
On the other hand. If you can get the other team in hot water with your actions, or get free kick, even a penalty out of it. Good on you.
I may grunt and groan about it. It is apart of the game. I may not like it! It is there to stay.
That is my 2 cents...

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