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Diving: Cheating or a Skill?

Thursday 15th March 2012
Over the past few years there has been more and more talk about diving in Football. The continental way of the game has been brought in by foreign players earning their trade in the promise land; the Barclay's Premier League. Don't get me wrong, I am fully for these players being brought over to England, however, is their way of playing the right one for our homegrown starlets to be adopting?

The debate has reached new heights recently with managers such as Arsene Wenger giving his views that certain players are now using diving to earn Penaltys and Freekicks for their respected teams. An example of this is when Wenger hit out at Liverpool's Luiz Suarez for the Uruguayan's dubious penalty award against his team on the 3rd March 2012.

Wenger quoted after the game 'Nobody touched him' which caused the already brewing rivalry between him and Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish to take another step up. Leading to Dalglish issuing a statement expressing his belief that the Football Association should take action against Wenger's accusations. However, some people may say Wenger could be judged to be a hypocrite.

Think back to the Champions League tie a number of years ago between Arsenal and Celtic where Arsenal's Eduardo seemed to take a tumble in the penalty area with no contact from the Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Resulting in a penalty that Celtic fans say cost them the game. So how do you look at it? Is there a skill to diving or are you just a plain cheat?

The 'bow' as some football fans like to call it has been lingering around for a while now, but not just some of the foreign players use it. England international players seemed to have taken it on, those who have spoken before about 'having a word with a team mate if they dived'.

Steven Gerrard springs to mind? Frank Lampard even? These players are role models for young children trying to imitate their heroes everyday in the playgrounds and parks around Great Britain. however, should they be throwing their arms in the air and arching their backs whenever they feel the slightest bit of contact from a defender? Ask yourself if you want your child being branded a cheat participating in their Sunday league team?

So what action should be taken? I believe that if we are wanting to kick out diving from Football then it is up to the FA and referees in particular to clamp down on those players who are going down too easily.

I understand that it may be hard for referees to gauge between a dive and a player being brought down by the slightest touch but by taking more harsh action against footballers who do so will eventually snub it out of the footballing world, or at least our beloved English game.
Adam Sutton

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