A couple of days ago I was reading on Eurosport, that former referee Mark Halsey is proposing that there should be independent panel to review, if a football player dived or not. This was in light of Chelsea game against Hull City, where there were a couple of “diving” incidents. Jose Mourinho said that this would be a crazy idea, and I agree with him. I will show you with 4 big questions, why independent penal, to punish diving in football, is NOT a good idea.
1.WHAT IS A DIVE?
Well what is actually a dive? One would say, when the player goes down without any contact, but the problem here is that it is practically always some kind of contact. Footballers dive because they feel minimal kind of contact. Even Ashley Young dives, when he gets some kind of contact. The trouble is, how much contact is considered a foul and how much a dive.
When there is speed, a small contact can actually make a football player to lose the ball. So it is practically impossible to say how much contact is enough for a foul. An independent penal would be useless in solving this kind of problem, because you can’t tell how much contact there was, by discussion.
Question about, what is considered a dive, has long history, and there has never been a well sound solution to that problem. I remember Eduardo, who was Arsenal player at the time, being punished because of a dive against Celtic. But that punishment was soon overruled because, there was a contact. I also remember in Italy when they started giving suspensions for a dive, but that just didn’t last.
2.WHAT KIND OF PUNISHMENT SHOULD DIVER GET?
Next problem is in the punishment that a football player would get. Would he get a suspension of one game, maybe two, or three? I mean there are football players hurting other football players, and they get yellow card, while a person who fakes being hit, gets a three game suspension. That just doesn’t work.
I agree that diving is a problem, but punishing diving is also a problem. Another trouble here is, that most footballers who dive regularly, are doing it because, they are being targeted by opposing football players. I mean, if you would get hacked regularly, you would start falling quite easily too, right.
I also believe that some clubs encourage players to dive, because this can get a club a point or two, and with it a better position in the league. This also means more money for the club, so maybe, there should be financial penalties for the club, and not individual.
3.WHO WOULD BE IN THE PANEL?
The problem with independent penal is, that no penal is really independent. Who ever would be in it, could have a lot of power in influencing the outcome of the season. Another problem would be, if those in the penal could not agree about the dive, than what? Majority voting? It would simply get too complex.
Anyone who has ever been in a team knows, that rarely the best or the most sensible decision wins. Usually it wins because of the person saying it, has the most power over the rest of the team. I think that in this independent panel, things would be no different. And decisions from that kind of panel would most likely be quite outrageous. They would probably end up punishing a player who wasn’t even close to diving.
4.YOU CAN’T SEE EVERYTHING ON CAMERA?
Lastly, the main tool that this panel would use would be camera replays, right. But camera replays never show everything. That means, the main tool of this independent panel would be highly inaccurate. I mean discussing stuff won’t make stuff more visible.
The problem with camera replays is also that, they usually miss stuff completely. You could rarely see if a ball crossed the goal line, through camera replays. Even Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini, in the World Cup, wasn’t conclusive on the replays.
These 4 questions show that this so called independent panel for diving wouldn’t work, on the contrary, it would be counter-productive for any kind of league. I believe that, a lot would be done against diving, if the club would get punished, and not the player. That would mean, that the club would discourage the player from diving, and I think that would do much more to limit diving that anything else.
What do you think? Would an independent panel, to punish diving in football, be a good idea?