Eden Hazard admitted to diving to win a penalty in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal, according to Philippe Auclair.
Arsenal were aggrieved when Chelsea were given a penalty during the 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.
Anthony Taylor spotted contact on Hazard’s foot, but ignored the Belgian rolling on the floor holding his shin.
While debate focused on whether it was a penalty or not, Hazard’s play-acting seemed to be brushed aside as a non-issue.
However, the player himself has admitted to diving, according to French journalist Philippe Auclair.
Speaking on the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast, he said: “I talked to Eden afterwards and he admitted as much [that he dived]. He was very clear on that.
“But he said also that it was a pen, and that there was definite contact.”
If Hazard has dived, there was a case for retrospective punishment via the FA’s new diving panel.
A two game suspension would rule him out of the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final between the two sides.
However, the FA have already confirmed that the attacker won’t be charged.
It shows that this new diving panel isn’t as determined as it claims to be in dealing with players who exaggerate contact.
On the other hand, Hazard may have felt he had to do exaggerate in order to get the penalty in the first place which is another failing of how the game is officiated.
There’s every chance he would not have got the call had he remained on his feet.
This is another case where the penalty was rewarded correctly but the player should have also been booked for diving.
Incidents can be both a foul and simulation at the same time, a point many seem to miss repeatedly.