FFA’s war on divers is spot on

Ben Somerford Roar Rookie

By Ben Somerford,

 , , , ,

29 Have your say

    Related coverage

    Football Federation Australia’s decision this week to use video evidence to punish players guilty of diving for the upcoming A-League season should be hugely commended.

    The FFA announced on Friday that the A-League’s match review panel would be allowed to investigate incidents of simulation not spotted by the referee during a match and duly suspend players for such offences.

    FFA chief executive officer Ben Buckley said, “I think everyone – fans, players and media – believe that simulation is unacceptable, and I am sure this change will be appreciated by the whole football community.”

    Indeed, in a nation where the public enjoy extremely physical sports like AFL or Rugby, the antics of diving football players is met with disbelief by many new to the game.

    And in the context of Australia, where football is fighting for attention amongst a number of sports, trying to eradicate one of the biggest blights on the game is a great move by the FFA.

    Often you hear non-footballing types speaking about the problem of diving in the round ball game. And incidents like Rivaldo’s infamous play-acting at the 2002 World Cup or the antics of Chinese club Tianjin Teda against Central Coast in the AFC Champions League recently are cases which turn potential converts off the game.

    Of course, it happens amongst A-League players too, and nobody can forget Cristiano’s penalty-winning simulation for Adelaide United against Melbourne Victory last season.

    And that incident brought with it calls from A-League coaches, led by Melbourne’s Ernie Merrick, for the match review panel to review such offences.

    Indeed, it has been argued for years that the best way to remove diving from the game is to analyse matches on video replays and suspend players found guilty of such offences.

    It simply means players will think twice before taking a dive (because they probably won’t get away with it), thus being less inclined to ‘cheat’, as some would call it.

    But the stumbling block for all this to go ahead has been the international body FIFA’s stance on using technology.

    For years FIFA have stated in their disciplinary code that ‘the disciplinary decisions taken by the referee on the field of play during a match are final.’

    It means if a referee misses an incident during a match, there is no way to retrospectively punish that player.

    But Buckley has ignored FIFA’s hesitancy on the issue and got proactive by introducing new powers for the match review panel.

    The FFA CEO added, “It is important to us that the Hyundai A-League’s disciplinary provisions are not only consistent with those of the sport internationally, but also with community expectations within Australia.”

    Indeed, in the context of sport in Australia with several codes battling for attention and credibility, the FFA’s watershed decision is refreshingly proactive and should be acknowledged.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (29)

    • August 2nd 2009 @ 5:35am
      melbvictory87 said | August 2nd 2009 @ 5:35am | ! Report

      its a good idea, it is an ugly side of the game which the ffa has rightly stopped

    • Roar Guru

      August 2nd 2009 @ 8:39am
      Pippinu said | August 2nd 2009 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      it is a good move for the reasons you mention, and I know you’ve touched on it, but I’m still a bit unclear how it sits with FIFA (big, slower, more monolithic than the UN).

    • August 2nd 2009 @ 8:53am
      MVDave said | August 2nd 2009 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      Well done FFA. Also can we stamp the passports of those players (thinking the game vs Mariners few months back) that come and play here in the ACL games and fall over way too easily. Stamp their passport with ‘Diver’ and not allowed back in this country to play football!!

    • August 2nd 2009 @ 9:16am
      jimbo said | August 2nd 2009 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      Great idea MVDave – those people are definitely not welcome.

      Its great to see diving included in the post match review where there is clear evidence of cheating – the referee can’t always see everything during the game.

      Will be interesting to see what penalties they associate with that form of cheating and how many weeks they get off.
      Can’t wait for the conspiracy theories – FFA trying to rob some club or FFA wants SFC in the GF blogs we get out of this.

    • August 2nd 2009 @ 11:49am
      dasilva said | August 2nd 2009 @ 11:49am | ! Report

      I support the crackdown on diving


      “removing the right of the independent MRP to cite players for the Red Card Offence category of “denying the opposing team a clear goal-scoring opportunity” ”

      So it’s not ok to cheat to score a goal but it’s ok to cheat to stop the opposition to score a goal.

      One of the reason why people dive is because the defenders often get away with foul unless they fall to the ground.

      Not punishing red card offence from the defenders seem unfair if you are going to punish diving. They are two sides of the same coin.

    • August 2nd 2009 @ 11:58am
      Mick said | August 2nd 2009 @ 11:58am | ! Report

      It will be interesting as to what the definition of a dive is.

      I have seen a referee boss and overseas tv say that grosso-neill was a penalty and in australia it is a dive, i would like to know what the mrp would of deemed this

      I hope they do not crap on how we are so honest in australia blah blah blah when we cheat like the best of them

    , , , ,