Kicking Diving Out of Football

Several football governing bodies have currently lot of issues to deal with.

Corruption scandals which have hit FIFA, for example, in the past few months and years have given the main football institution several headaches and might take, for the Swiss -based organization, a long time to recover.

On a positive side, it has accomplished some positives such the “kick racism out of football” campaign. Banners have been displayed before matches and during national anthems to make sure that the message is loud and clear that the biggest governing body in the game does not tolerate it.

Unfortunately, another problem, of a different nature, is putting the game into more shame. And it is called diving or playacting. Football is not the only collective sport who suffers from it, but it is often mentioned as an example when an incident occurs. A few weeks ago, there was another sordid embarrassing example during a Champions League match, out of all competitions, when the Real Madrid and Brazilian defender, Marcelo, did one of the worst playacting that you would ever see. After slightly kicking his opponent, the latter reacted slightly and Marcelo went down as if he was either shot down or badly beaten.

This “incident” reminded us that the phenomenon is still present and not disappearing anytime soon. It was a disgraceful gesture, plain and simple. Marcelo and the VlF Wolfsburg player were cautioned, but it just goes to show how deep the issue currently runs in football, that even during a match such as a Champions League quarterfinals tie, some players are still keen on trying to deceive referees, even if it has the potential of failing, making them look ridiculous in front of a large audience and give them a reputation for being actors.

Marcelo is obviously not the only one who does it. There are many. Many who are great footballers are well. and while there is no need to mention any names, at the end, football associations have “to tackle” the problem with more muscle and more desire than ever. Issuing a yellow card when a referee sees that a player has committed a dive is a very good step. Now, it need to be “kicked out of the game”.

Other possible solutions could be to act retroactively when a player is accused of playacting. Issuing suspensions and fines to the player and also the club. Increasing the penalties if there are repetitions from the same players and clubs.

Playacting/diving is an attack and an insult on the game of football and its integrity. It can also change the outcome of a match and leave a bitter taste to teams, fans and journalists. The Beautiful Game, as Mr. Pelé wonderfully described it, deserves better and its governing bodies have to take on this problem with more hunger and desire than ever before. To see it happen would be fantastic. We shall see.

Stay tuned…

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