Stoke boss Tony Pulis has called on football authorities to clamp down on players making the most of a challenge from an opponent in order to get them booked.
It is a tactic Pulis believes Real Madrid employed in their 4-0 Champions League victory over Tottenham on Tuesday. Spurs lost Peter Crouch within the opening 15 minutes at the Bernabeu after the striker was sent off having received yellow cards for late tackles on Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.
"I've watched the game and I have to say, there were two silly lunges from an experienced player, but I also get desperately disappointed today when people roll around," said Pulis. "We talk about respect (towards referees) and there should be bigger respect between players as well."
He added: "They have done their damnedest to make the sure the referee has been put under enough pressure. I'm not condoning what Crouch has done, but players can help players today.
"It is something that has crept into our game and has become accepted because certain people at the top end of our game almost cover themselves from incidents that occur when challenges take place.
"I do think it is almost a disease that has gripped English football and I don't like it.
"I think when players roll around and try to get people booked or sent off, that doesn't help at all.
"I think (Professional Footballers' Association chief executive) Gordon Taylor has a responsibility to talk about it and I think the Football Association and the Referees' Association have a responsibility to look at it.
"You see people feigning injury and diving, and in my opinion it is cheating and I think those players should be reprimanded.
"We talk about bad challenges and certain other incidents in a game and we really go over the top with them. That is the worst type for me, because it is cheating."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms