Over the years FIFA President Sepp Blatter has come up with some pretty barking mad ideas, but is his latest scheme actually a winner?
Blatter, 77, is apparently sick and tired of players diving and feigning injury and then returning straight back to the field of play when they’re team has won a free kick or another kind of advantage.
So what can be done about it? Blatter thinks he has the solution and as we’ve come to expect from him, it’s radical.
“I find it deeply irritating, when the half-dead player comes back to life as soon as they have left the pitch,” Blatter said in his weekly column on FIFA.com. “The referee can make the player wait until the numerical disadvantage has had an effect on the game. In practical terms, this is a time penalty and it could cause play-actors to rethink.”
What do we think?
I actually like this plan and think that Blatter is onto something, however this may be pretty difficult to referee as the middle-man must be purely focused on what’s going on around him on the pitch, instead of instructing a host of players standing on the sidelines whether or not they can re-enter. But, I guess that’s what the fourth official is there for, so he can look after the divers and make sure they spend an appropriate time off the field, which could end up hurting their side as they’ll be a man short.
Just look at the past week in the Premier League for example, as Adnan Januzaj, Oscar and plenty of other top players have been called up for diving and shown a yellow card. Those are just odd occasions when a player is punished though, as more often than not the trainer is called on or a free kick is given for simulation. This play-acting needs to be stamped out, I’m with you Sepp.
How do you differentiate between a player faking injury and a genuine one? That’s a whole other can of worms entirely, but if a player has to spend say, two minutes on the sidelines every time he goes down injured and ‘needs treatment’ then players would soon start getting back on their feet and the game would keep flowing.
Don’t we all hate it when diving and theatrics take over the show? I know I do. Soccer is about watching 22 men battling it out and using their fitness, skill and brains to win. Not seeing who can con the referee more into sneaking a victory. Quite frankly too much of the latter has been going on for some time now.
It’s time for a change, and a time penalty for divers could be the right way to do.