The FA are considering bringing in a rule that would see people who dive punished retroactively, according to a report in the Times (£).

A two-match ban for players found guilty of the offence is already in place in Scotland and the FA will send officials north on a fact-finding mission.

An FA insider told the Times, “On the face of it it’s a good idea. The devil is in the detail, but as a tool to penalise blatant simulation versus ‘did he dive or slip?’ it is now being investigated. It is being discussed with the SFA and some FA people are going up to Scotland for a meeting on how it is working.”

I can never quite get my head around the outrage of diving when there are so many other forms of cheating in the game that people don’t care about.

Punished for ref’s mistake

A two-game ban seems ridiculous when you consider that you only get three for breaking a player’s leg.  And that’s leaving aside the fact that the player is being punished severely for the referee failing to spot his dive. If the official caught it at the time, the player would receive one yellow, yet somehow a 2-game ban (which would require four yellows) is seen as appropriate.

Ref spots your dive – yellow card. Ref misses your dive – 2 game ban.

Really? How about giving the bans to the officials for the mistake in the first place?

Sure, we’d all like to see players eliminate diving from their game, but what of calling for freekicks, throw-ins and other decision when you know that it should go to the other team? What about time wasting? Handballs are a form of cheating, are we going to punish those retroactively if the referee misses it?

None of this even takes into consideration how you define a dive.

There is debate, still, for instance, over Ki’s dive against Arsenal for which he was booked.

Many think as there was contact, despite him initiating it by hanging out a leg, that it’s a pen. It wasn’t. But it’s just a hint at the can of worms this is going to open.

There is a simple solution to all of this – video technology. Allow both teams three ‘challenges’ like they have in tennis.


Back in 2013, retroactive bans for diving was put forward, but the Premier League and referees blocked the move. There were fears that clubs would demand a replay for any matches that were decided by penalties incorrectly awarded after a dive.

Mike Riley, PGMOL chief, believed it would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ when voting the idea down.

Quite what has changed since then is not clear.