Watford striker Fernando Forestieri today proved why diving still exists in soccer. Because not only does it work, it works like a charm.
In a Championship match earlier today, Forestieri got Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Bakary Sako sent off with a straight red card despite tackling him from behind, getting in his face, and pushing him in the chest. Why? Because Forestieri completed one of the most asinine dives of the season. He is standing a good three feet from Sako before he grabs his face out of nowhere and collapses to the ground.
Fortunately, with the red card occurring in injury time of a 2-2 game, the outcome of the match was not affected, but Sako at the moment is facing a three-match ban. Wolves manager Kenny Jacket said after the match they will appeal the red card, an appeal which will clearly be successful. Take a look at the dive:
Jackett’s comments were those of disdain for Forestieri’s actions, but they were somewhat subdued from what could have been expected. “We will be appealing,” Jackett told the club’s official website. “I have seen it again and from Forestieri’s point of view it is embarrassing to throw yourself to the floor like that and get another professional sent off. I didn’t think he [Sako] raised his hand or reacted to the player at all. It was a harsh red card and a poor decision.”
Yeah, no kidding.
Diving will exist in soccer until referees take action. How none of the officials in a second-tier match saw what occurred is mind-boggling, and it’s possible that not only will Sako see his red overturned, but the FA could take action on Forestieri, depending on the referee’s report. Let’s hope they do.