Every code has it weaknesses. Those little chinks in its game that people don’t like, but exist all the same.
For all the things people enjoy about their preferred sport, these weaknesses stand as a testament to the notion that things can always be improved.
For example, the AFL is far too Victorian to be considered a truly national league. When every award and most of its history is based around one state, it excludes the rest of Australia.
Rugby, of course, can’t break the shackles of its private school image. For all its publicity about finding a Wallaby from Western Sydney, we all know it still exists primarily as a game for lawyers and bankers.
Rugby league’s internecine conflicts stops the game from truly growing beyond it two state boundaries.
Football’s problem? Yep, you guessed it. Staging.
Although by far the world’s most popular game and the only game that can truly unite all of modern Australia (if SBS ratings are anything to go by) its problem rests with people diving.
A spectacular game between Brazil and Mexico was ruined somewhat by the theatrics of Neymar. Wriggling around in pain after not being touched diminished his actual efforts in the game, as he helped Brazil progress to the next round.
Rest assured, his antics have been mercilessly mocked online. This will no doubt be picked up by the mainstream media here in Australia and used as another opportunity to knock the game.
By default, support for the A-League will suffer as the game won’t be seen as holding the values that Aussies hold dear.
Diving needs to be stopped, plain and simple. A five-minute break on the sidelines for any ‘perceived injury’ or straight to VAR where if there is no contact it is a straight yellow or red.
Football in Australia can’t afford this blight on the game. It won’t convert any new supporters to the game if it doesn’t take action.