Stoke boss wants divers to be banned

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Stoke manager Tony Pulis has called for players who dive to be punished with three-match bans if video evidence proves their guilt.

Pulis recently called on the Professional Footballers' Association to remind their members of the importance of fair play. He has been infuriated by seeing players throw themselves over before any contact, and is now calling on the Football Association to get tough with offenders.

"I see players simulating (to win) free-kicks and falling over and putting enormous pressure on referees. That's an area we have to look at and an area we have to address," said Pulis.

"If you catch a player who has cheated I think you should be banned for three games. If you get someone who goes in the box and falls over and cheats, you've got enough video replays now to show the fella's cheated.

"If you've got a team and three or four of their players are falling over and staying down till the opposition player's booked and then jumping up, or he's trying to gain an unfair advantage, it's enormous pressure on referees."

Pulis, whose team face Everton in the Barclays Premier League at Goodison Park on Saturday, believes referees have plenty on their plate without having to contend with being conned. The debate over the revamped offside rules, with its two phases, has led several managers to voice concern.

Pulis suspects some match officials do not know how to interpret the rules, leading to attacking teams gaining unreasonable advantages.

He said: "I just think it should be cleared up. It's too open. The referees and the linesmen I think sometimes are making it up as they go along. I think they're always trying to favour the attacking team.

"That's fair in terms of entertainment, but when you're a professional football club and you work very, very hard on trying to organise teams and you put teams out to defend properly, it affects you, and I think it is an area which has to be cleared up once and for all.

"For me, if there's a player in the way of the goalkeeper and if he's not interfering with play he shouldn't be on the pitch. He's on the pitch, so he's interfering with play."

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