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FA to crack down on diving this season

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2017 FINA World Championships Photo by Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images

One of the least appealing aspects of soccer is the seemingly constant diving, but at the same time it’s easy to understand why a player does it. the rules around what is a foul are very subjective, and players are bred to take every advantage they’re given, and create advantages where they can. That, of course, leads to situations where players who are given the slightest of shoves go down as if they were shot by a cannon, and often players who aren’t even touched will fall dramatically as they try to win a foul:

It’s been a problem forever, and there’s probably no way to eliminate it entirely, but today the FA decided to at least try to do something about it.

They announced that the newly created “successful deception of a match official” foul will result in a retrospective two game ban for a player who dove in a blatant attempt to win a penalty or to get an opposing player sent off. The review and assessment of that ban will be done by a three-person panel, and the decisions of that panel must be unanimous for the ban to be given.

I’m sort of on the fence about the retrospective ban, but I think this is a reasonable attempt to do it right. I’d still rather have the retrospective foul be served when the player faces the team against which he committed the foul, but this is a decent enough idea, and anything that tries to get obvious diving out of the game is welcome.