Two weeks without Premier League football means we have time to reflect on the season so far and although there has been many aspects of the game to revel in so far, there have also been some terrible things that we would like to eradicate, most notably diving.
Liverpool's Luis Suarez is a tremendous player. He has everything it
takes to be a great player. Superb ball control, great strike, a fantastic
never give up attitude - all the hallmark needed to be a top top player. But then why does he feel the need to go down like he's been shot whenever he has been touched in the penalty box?
When supposedly the greatest game on Earth - El Classico - happens, as a neutral and a footballer fan, the one
thing I wish for is for the game not to be decided by who dives better and
gets away with it.
This brings in the age old debate as to what is
considered right and what is deemed as play acting.
Football has had its share of such things throughout
the years and will do so as well. There is a thin line that divides
a genuine fall and a dive or what is called simulation. Some of the
greatest players have had to go through the kind of ordeal that Suarez
is going through now.
The likes of Jurgen Klinsman, Cristiano Ronaldo,
Nani etc all have been as coveted for their playing skills as for their
theatrics. Is it right or wrong? The easy answer is of course it is
wrong. The clever answer is why bother if you can get away with it.
me if I am wrong, but I doubt if any manager or coach will say to a
player to get up and continue if he has fallen willingly or not; play
for a foul is an adage that never fades. The difference though is where
to draw the line.
Sometimes too much is too bad and the result often ends
up being bad and sad.
The sad part for Suarez and co is that their
reputation or the lack of it takes over in crunch situations. With
utmost respect to the referees all over the world, the reputation of a
player in today's game, plays a significant role in awarding decisions.
Because of his history of theatrics, Suarez doesn't get even the legitimate ones
whereas just for example a certain Leo Messi gets away with everything
because of his reputation. It's not that leo dives as much, but have you ever seen a
ref who doesn't give the decision in favor of him in a 50-50 call?
Can this be stopped? Tough to say because at the end of the
day it has been a part of the game for a number of years now. Can anyone ascertain that the
player actually played for the foul; meaning is there a way you can
measure it? It does come down to the individual.
A short term gain may
not compensate to the long term loss. No, we don't need saints on the
pitch, it's a tough sport and without all the ingredients involved, the game wouldn't be as popular as it is now. What else will we debate for
endlessly? What else will we shout at the opposition fans
and abuse them? Controversies are a part of every sport and football is
The only thing that players, teams and officials can
do is to play the game fair and square. Let the game be the winner and
the ones who can do it are its footballers and not actors. The referees
also need to act as per the situation and not as per the reputation.
There needs to be stricter laws for simulation but also for bad
decisions. Even after a review, if the referee doesn't see what the whole
world did, then there is something seriously wrong and action needs to
be taken without fear or favour.
Finally all I can say for Luis Suarez and the likes of
him - When you can win with class, why cheat? The game is so
great that everything evens out eventually. Who knows Suarez may get a
"lucky" penalty against United/Everton and win the game for Liverpool. I
for one won't be complaining because any United loss is good news for an Arsenal
Calling all Arsenal and football fans: What are your views on Suarez's recent actions in the penalty box? How would you eradicate diving in the game? Who are the biggest divers in the Premier League? Whatever your view we'd love to hear from you.