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Eduardo banned for diving, do it for everyone then!

September 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Yesterday Arsenal striker Eduardo was banned for two European matches after being found guilty by a UEFA disciplinary panel of diving to win a penalty against Celtic last week. Now I am not an Arsenal fan, but this punishment strikes me as very harsh for two reasons; firstly, if he had been adjudged to have dived by the match referee during the game at that time, he would have only received a yellow card with no further retribution, and secondly, why have UEFA decided to pick up on this incident, which didn’t have any effect on the overall outcome of the match, when there have been a number of high profile incidents involving players diving.

Eduardo won a spot-kick after going down in the penalty area

The Eduardo penalty incident

As a football fan, I don’t like to see any players diving and succeeding in their attempts to con the referee. And I agree that UEFA and the other footballing authorities have to do something in an attempt to remove it from the game. However, I believe that if they are going to impose a two game ban on players adjudged to have dived, as they have here with Eduardo, then they had better start doing it for every single player who ‘dives’. This means they will have to monitor and watch every single game in every league each week and not just punish those spotted on the live Premiership or European matches on television. Although this system would be a laborious process, it is the only fair way I can see to do this, otherwise it puts an unfair disadvantage on those players at the top level under the most spotlight. By just targeting players seen diving in the top level games, it is not only unfair to them, it is also not going to stop people diving at a lower level. Players in the Championship, League One, League Two etc, will not be deterred from diving after the Eduardo punishment, because they know that their matches aren’t getting anywhere near as much attention and scrutiny.

The only way to eradicate it from all levels of the game is to have every single game monitored, and whenever any player is adjudged to have dived, a ban is imposed. And if the referee spots a dive in a match, they can still book that player, but they must also then report the dive after the match to the authorities, who can then ban the player. By giving every player who is found guilty of diving, in every league the same length ban, be it two games or a different number, it will provide a consistent and effective punishment in the fight against simulation in football. However, this system will probably be considered as ‘not practical’ and seeing as I have no power at all in the echelons of football, this idea won’t get anywhere. But, now UEFA have decided to ban Eduardo, football authorities will have to try their best to continue dishing out this punishment to any players caught diving, or it will never leave our game.