Ashley Young has been taking some serious heat for his “SWAN” dives and it seems like it’s a regular occurrence for him.
His latest stunt was against Crystal Palace where he was cautioned for his first dive, and apparently he dove a second time in the penalty area and unfortunately, due to the referee’s angle at the time, a penalty kick was awarded and Kagisho Dikgacoi was sent off for DOGSO. The question has now become…Should the punishment for diving be more severe – a send off instead of a caution? Mr. Graham Poll thinks that Young should at least be suspended for up to 5 games for his shenanigans (read his post here) and some pundits are having the discussion of maybe changing the LOTG and make diving an automatic Red Card offence.
Personally, the first caution was dead on correct and warranted. However, I’m not totally convinced that the second scenario was indeed a full out dive. There was a little bit of contact however, not enough for a PK in my opinion. I think the referee should have just waived it off and played on. But back to this business of making diving a mandatory Red Card offence.
This blind mouse thinks that a red card for diving is quite harsh and way too severe. If you want to take the position that diving is cheating and has no place in the beautiful game, then I agree with you but, I don’t think a send off is the way to go. By that logic, let’s consider this: We all know that a player who flicks the ball up to himself so that he can head it back to his keeper, who then picks it up with his hands, is guilty of circumventing the laws (in effect cheating) and is to be cautioned for unsporting behaviour. If we deem this action as cheating, as well as diving, then this should also be a red card offence. Right? (If A equals B, and B equals C, then A MUST equal C)
I do, however, see a possibility of having it both ways and making everyone happy. We all know that a reckless foul that does not deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity only gets sanctioned as a cautionable offence. However, at the moment that the same exact foul denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity, the misconduct is instantly upgraded to a send off offence and a red card. So, why don’t we (and by we, I mean FIFA needs to amend the LOTG) make this also true for diving. What I mean is – if a player dives during a scenario which is not an obvious goal scoring opportunity for that attacking player, then a caution for simulation is administered. However, if there IS an obvious goal scoring opportunity situation, and the attacking player decides to dive (in order to deceive the referee, draw a foul, DFK or PK, and a send off for his opponent, thus giving his team a 1 man advantage), then the tables are turned and that dive should now be upgraded to a send off and red card for simulation during an obvious goal scoring opportunity (SDOGSO?).
What do you think? Please leave your comments below.
The Third Blind Mouse