There is no doubt that over the last few seasons diving has been forced onto the Premier League agenda, a contentious issue that provokes strong opinions on both sides of the fence .
Anywhere on the pitch diving has become acceptable to relieve pressure from an opponent or get your team a penalty. Officials have been aware of certain individuals who have a habit of falling to ground on light contact or none at all for that matter.
This has caused wrong calls being made when these players actually were fouled. In other countries it could be seen as acceptable to dive to the floor which could be part of the reason why the Premier League is seeing more of this issue, as more and more foreign players are invading the Premier League. Is there actually any solution to this growing problem?
5th and 6th Officials
One of the solutions to control the diving problem are extra officials. In the Champions League we have seen this system used where they place an official close to each goal.
This helps the right decision being made when people are going down in the penalty area and shirts are being pulled during set pieces. However since there insertion into the Champions League they haven't been proved that successful despite it being a logical solution. The officials are used to simplify hard decisions and whether the ball crossed the line of the goal.
Michel Platini continues to refuse the proposal for goal line technology in the Champions League which only adds extra criticism on the extra officials if a wrong decision is made. In the Premier League goal-line technology is used and the only thing the officials would have to look for is foul play in the penalty area. Although an unpopular decision, it could be seen as part of the solution to rid diving from the game.
A more complicated system but a more accurate way from controlling diving. A tackle in the penalty area which the officials are unsure if its a penalty could result in going to a video. The video could give clear evidence of a far tackle or not.
However this system could take a few minutes to get the right decision and the officials would have to wait until the play had stopped to look at the video evidence. A more accurate tool but this system will surely stop the fluency of the football.
Influencing the Players
A more long-winded system and one only the players can take upon themselves to morally remove from their game. Managers and coaches should remove this type of activity from all of their players or the diving problem may never be resolved if the staff of the clubs aren't addressing this issue.
The players need to remove this from there game or be ridiculed for being a diver. Ashley Young, Luis Suarez and Branislav Ivanovic are just a few of the players who have been labelled as 'divers'. A horrible title that may discourage clubs from buying them or being dropped by their managers.
Can it ever be completely removed?
Diving can be controlled but never completely removed from the game. It is down to the players themselves to stop this diving because they are the ones doing it. Only the FA can create ways to catch out divers and make it easier for officials. Whether new systems are brought in or harsh bans are brought upon anyone who dives, this type of behaviour needs to be addressed.
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