Arsene Wenger has given his support for the FA’s new rules on diving.
As of the 2017-18 season, the FA will be able to retrospectively punish players for diving by handing them a two-match suspension.
The new rule is long overdue, as despite plenty of debate and discussion about eradicating simulation from the game, nobody actually did a thing about it.
Arsene Wenger has given his support for the rule, claiming that fans do not want to watch players cheating.
“I’m a big fan of these rules to stop diving,” Wenger said, as reported by the Daily Star.
“You want cheating out of the game – fans want to watch football not people dive.
“They pay a lot of money. We want to make it clean and as fluent as possible. You cannot be against it if you want to get this out of football.”
Arsenal themselves have been beneficiaries of diving over the years, with one notable incident occurring in a Champions League play-off against Celtic in 2009.
It was in that game that Croatian striker Eduardo made the most of marginal contact to win Arsenal a penalty, which he then stepped up and converted.
At the same time, Arsenal have also been victims of players diving numerous times. Fans will never forget Wayne Rooney diving to win a penalty in 2005 in the game that ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run.
Any move to stamp diving out of the game is a positive one. However, the FA may have difficulty implementing the rule due to how tough it is to distinguish a dive from players making the most of any contact they receive.
Wenger added: “You can’t be so sure nowadays. A good diver puts a bit of doubt in your mind.
“It has to be completely obvious and that will be down to the panel.
“Sometimes the guy touches your leg and you have to go down but you may have made a little more of it.
“To make more of this is to play with the rules.”
At the very least, let’s hope none of our players end up with a two-match suspension for a blatant dive.