November 21, 2006

Torquay United to pull plug on divers: "British Football has the opportunity to take a lead in resolving this major issue which is tarnishing our Sport and marred the World Cup Finals in Germany 2006." 58% of the players who were treated on the pitch during the 2006 World Cup eventually turned out not to be injured.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY to soccer at 11:32 AM - 9 comments

I'd love to see a team-by-team breakdown of these figures just to see if the numbers confirm the reputations of the various national sides.

posted by psmealey at 12:07 PM on November 21, 2006

Wait a minute... There's diving in soccer?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:36 PM on November 21, 2006

This is brilliant. I've been begging for this for a while. The ref can't be the one to stop diving. It's too tough a job. The only ones who can do it are the players and the coach. Divers should be shamed, not penalized.

posted by 86 at 12:45 PM on November 21, 2006

How can you tell if someone is faking a hamstring injury?

posted by bperk at 01:07 PM on November 21, 2006

They run right back on the pitch after "treatment".

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 01:35 PM on November 21, 2006

"Treatment" consisting of a wet sponge being placed on their leg for five seconds. The English leagues, (it may be Europe-wide, I'm not sure), this year have a new system in place where if a player goes down injured the other team are instructed to not kick the ball out of play so that he can receive treatment. It's now up to the referee to blow his whistle and stop play. This is designed to stop people who fall over and feign injury to stop the other team from launching an attack, because they were expected to kick the ball out. I don't know how it's going now, but in the first few weeks no one seemed to have told the players this, as there was quite a bit of pushing and shoving going on when someone played on as another player writhed in apparent injury. I can't see a torquay player ever reaching three strikes, but it'll be interesting to see what happens if a player stays up under a challenge in the penalty area, rather than "earn" a penalty, when that decision possibly costs them three points.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:43 PM on November 21, 2006

The first weeks of that new ruling resulted in a player going down "injured" with the other 21 players virtually standing still while they waited for the referee to blow his whistle, which he eventually did. It changes nothing. And it's all very well for Torquay to be taking a stand against cheats, but as Mr B says, I would wager my house that no Torquay player ever gets to "three strikes".

posted by afx237vi at 03:17 PM on November 21, 2006

Here's a thought - post-game review of questionable injuries and dives by EPL, FIFA, or appropriate governing body with issuance of yellow cards & fines for guilty players and teams. With the prospect of carrying a card into the next match, it might be a way to discourage this behavior without disrupting the flow of play during a match.

posted by manics21 at 05:33 PM on November 21, 2006

I've always (well recently at least) thought that there should be a review of every match, and players diving or feigning injury should be punished afterwards. Of course how can you prove that someone was actually pretending and not just temporarily "smarting" from an injury?

posted by Fence at 03:22 AM on November 22, 2006

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