During the Premier League match last Saturday between Brighton and Leicester there were 2 cases of diving, one was punished and the other was rewarded. If there’s anything in football I cannot have, it is diving. It is a scourge of the modern game.
The first case of diving was when James Maddison, already on a yellow card, tried to to skip through some players in the box hung out a leg and fell to the ground. It was a clear and deliberate dive and thankfully the referee had the strength and conviction to show him a 2nd yellow and send him off. He later apologised on Twitter claiming he was waiting on contact which never came but that’s not good enough. How can you honestly play football when your mind is somewhere else waiting on some contact so you can throw yourself to the floor. How can this be in the forefront of your thought’s? What ever happened to being brave, playing on and just taking the hits if and when they come.
The reaction from his own team mates is also concerning, most of them opting for the ‘unlucky you got caught’ pat on the back. His team mates should be livid with him and give him a good clap round the ear. He left them for the remaining 62 minutes of the match to play with 10 men.
The other case of diving was when Leicester won a penalty. At first I also thought it was a foul but on further inspection having seen the incident from a side on angle it’s more of a dive than a foul. It’s less clear cut than the Maddison incident but you can see that Kelechi Iheanacho is already falling long before the contact arrives. In this case there is some contact and a slightly wild tackle in the box but the dive came before the contact so in my opinion this is not a penalty.
The punishment for diving is also far to lenient. How can a yellow card for cheating be sufficient. There’s no deterrent whatsoever for diving and unless the authorities grow a set and get tough on diving it will never go away and probably only get worse. All these so called experts on TV are barely raising an eyebrow at the alarming frequency with which we see new cases of diving. It’s so common now that some are seeing it as part of the game but I’m sorry I cannot and will not accept that. Diving is cheating and should be outlawed from the game with harsher punishments. Diving should be a straight red card with a heafty fine and ban included. Only then might we see some changing attitudes towards diving from the players.