Watford winger Richarlison has been cleared of simulation by the FA’s new diving panel, and many fans weren’t too pleased with the outcome.
The Brazilian was accused of diving to win a penalty in Watford’s 2-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday.
Former head of refereeing, Graham Poll, determined that it was a dive and that a penalty should not have been awarded.
The incident was reviewed by the FA’s new diving panel, which has been put together to retroactively punish simulation with a two-game ban.
Much to many people’s surprise, though, they ruled that no simulation was involved.
Fans are now wondering if the system has any worth as players seemingly continue to get away with conning the referee, reports the Mirror.
FA introduced a system of retrospective actions to prevent diving & do nothing about it when the players dive. First Ali now, Richarlison!
— #RIPMamba (@JayGooner_) October 16, 2017
So wait… Despite both commentators and even Graham Poll calling Richarlison's move a dive Saturday, the FA panel claim it wasn't 👀
— Dean Batchelor (@RealDeanB) October 16, 2017
What's the point in having a panel to investigate diving if they aren't going to punish players? Richarlison clearly dived
— Levi Mallin (@LRMallin) October 16, 2017
FA not pursuing cases on Lukaku or Richarlison, no standards
— al (@alxhaka) October 16, 2017
It’s likely that Richarlison was given the benefit of the doubt, as a minor touch at full speed is often enough to knock players to the ground. However, whether that should be enough for a penalty is another matter.
Hector Bellerin will feel that there was not enough contact to bring the player down. Richarlison receiving a ban would have been scant consolation to Arsenal anyway.
The penalty changed the course of the game and gave Watford the impetus to turn things around and get the three points.