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A proposal from Germany could help cut out diving
Referee Peter Walton could face a suspension from the Premier League list if it is decided he made a mistake in Monday’s 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Birmingham.
Walton reckoned Liverpool striker David Ngog had been fouled by Lee Carsley and ignored the protests of his Birmingham team mates before Steven Gerrard converted the spotkick. Even Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez said afterwards he did not think it was a penalty.
Former Premier League and FIFA referee Graham Poll is among those saying the FA must change the rules, arguing that if the referee can be banned for a mistake, players should be punished too. Under current FA rules, players who dive cannot face retrospective action if they were not booked for “simulation” during the game.
Maybe the FA could follow a recent German experiment. If a player was thought to have dived, the referee was instructed to ask him: “Did you dive?”
If he said he did, he was not punished, but neither did he gain any advantage and the match went on.
If he said he didn’t dive and DVD evidence later proved he did, he was handed a severe ban.
Not a foolproof system by any means, but something needs to be done as diving players are damaging the credibility of the game.
PHOTO: REUTERS/Sergio Moraes