FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has denied he branded Luis Suarez a 'cheat' after the Liverpool striker's antics against Stoke, but reiterated his feelings that diving is a 'cancer' of the game that must be eradicated.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis called for Suarez to be retrospectively banned by the Football Association following the Uruguayan's penalty area theatrics in the 0-0 draw at Anfield almost two weeks ago, and the issue of diving is back in the spotlight again.

Boyce weighed into the debate last week when he claimed the incident involving Suarez was 'nothing less than a form of cheating' although he has since moved to retract some of his comments about the Liverpool star.

The Northern Irishman did, however, outline once again that he believes diving is a cancerous element of football - something he had initially said in the wake of Liverpool v Stoke.

“It did look to me as if he went down deliberately and that he’s gone down without any physical contact being made," Boyce said, as reported by The Sun.

“It is a cancer in the game and I completely stand by those comments — but I did not call him a cheat.”

Suarez has received the public support of Liverpool after the bad press he received following the Stoke encounter, with Anfield managing director Ian Ayre saying the 25-year-old has not had the rub of the green this season.

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