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Speaker: KICK IT! End of Act One

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Who enjoys the part of football where players are rewarded for diving and feigning fatal injury, and then both sides yell at the referee with looks of disbelief? What reason is there for it not being stomped on?

    The whole simulation thing is notoriously difficult to adjudicate. If I may be allowed to link to a rival world cup blog, I took an, er, alternative cultural route earlier in the week. At any rate, it's quite rare to be able to rule conclusively that somebody took a dive, even with the technology, so the occasional heavy penalties are a bit too hit and miss to be effective.

    I think the sport could use an approach towards referees similar to the one taken in cricket, and that would be easier to enforce. But culturally it would be a major change and there just isn't enough will to get it done.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7385 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    all they need to do is identify the next diver by what ever means necessary, then pick him up, march him to the centre circle, bang him on the head with a rock, and bury him where he lands.

    no more diving.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 318 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    I'd apply a similar regime to those feigning injury in the outfield, although that would probably involve the administering of a swift kick to the goolies along with the requirement that they must play the next three matches wearing a pair of those glasses with a false nose and moustache attached.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 318 posts Report Reply

  • Jonty,

    @gio

    Two bits of technology suggest it wouldn't be too difficult to give the ref a quick shoofty, regardless of the protests from those countries who seem to be the worst culprits.

    That's the speed of replay and the hyper-clear close-up of the colliding (or not) feet.

    Knowing it can be seen so clearly by millions around the world is demonstrating a special type of arrogance and contempt. The consequences can have such a profound bearing on the game and also the final outcome of the tournament.

    Katikati • Since Mar 2007 • 101 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Agree with Gio that it's really hard to pick simulation at the time. And I don't think you want referrals during the match. Football prides itself on its lack of stoppage time, and rightly so.

    But what they should do is post-match appeals (like the judiciary in other sports).

    And seriously throw the book at them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    Fine and dandy, as long as that book is made out of rocks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 318 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    Agree with Gio that it's really hard to pick simulation at the time. And I don't think you want referrals during the match. Football prides itself on its lack of stoppage time, and rightly so.

    But what they should do is post-match appeals (like the judiciary in other sports).

    They should impose hefty post-match fines on those whom the video evidence shows to be conclusively diving/acting.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    I sense some resistence to my set of rock-based sanctions...never mind, it's time will come.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 318 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    They should impose hefty post-match fines on those whom the video evidence shows to be conclusively diving/acting.

    They do. But I refer you to the De Rossi pirouettes in the link above - is that sanctionable? I don't think so. Proving complete lack of contact is very hard, and the images don't tell you the force of whatever contact there might have been.

    (Another issue is the Mexico penalty today: the guy did dive, but it was still a foul. Jumping over a guy who is tackling you is quite acceptable, since avoiding contact means to avoid or lessen the potential injury. You've still been impeded though.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7385 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Yeah --- & there's no rule to say you have to fight to stay upright once you've been fouled, and to be honest I've gone down when I could've stayed up because I was sick to death of getting kicked and the ref not protecting me.

    Refs are fallible, and that's part of the game.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    7.) Messi, and the rest of the Argentine team will still be unable to afford a haircut.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Suarez, in my mind, embodies everything I hate about football. Diving, self-important arseholes and playing to screw over the other team.

    And then there are the corrupt referees and the match-fixers. Declan Hill has written very accessibly about the subject.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    They do. But I refer you to the De Rossi pirouettes in the link above - is that sanctionable? I don't think so. Proving complete lack of contact is very hard, and the images don't tell you the force of whatever contact there might have been.

    Which is why one could only adjudicate on the most clear-cut cases: where there is doubt, the benefit must go to the attacker. But there have been a number of cases already (eg. Suarez) where absolutely no contact has been made but the player still manages to fall down. Nine-tenths of a laws effectiveness derives from its impact as a deterrent; we dont need to fine every dive, only the most blatant.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I don't know what replays you and Hadyn have seen. In the ones on my telly, there's contact between the tip of the goalkeeper's foot and Suarez. Unless the goalie's foot has a mysterious spasm or something. Here's YouTube, until FIFA takes it down:

    It's a clumsy challenge and a blatant foul, not to mention an automatic red card. The referee has no discretion there.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7385 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Which is why one could only adjudicate on the most clear-cut cases

    That's not so easy. If it's hard to differentiate between infringing and not infringing, then it's equally difficult to differentiate between blatantly infringing and not-quite-blatantly-infringing.

    Overall, I totally agree with post-match sanctions. It works for the League. Professional anti-fouls are bad for the sport.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    @Haydn, there are other Suarez dives to choose from, some of them more clear-cut than others.

    If it's hard to differentiate between infringing and not infringing, then it's equally difficult to differentiate between blatantly infringing and not-quite-blatantly-infringing.

    There are plenty examples of blatant cheating to choose from - it is those that FIFA should go after; the easy ones, not the difficult ones. Just a few high-profile sanctions will at least show there are possible adverse consequences to be had from such actions.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    There are plenty examples of blatant cheating to choose from - it is those that FIFA should go after; the easy ones, not the difficult ones. Just a few high-profile sanctions will at least show there are possible adverse consequences to be had from such actions.

    Indeed.

    I don't know what replays you and Hadyn have seen. In the ones on my telly, there's contact between the tip of the goalkeeper's foot and Suarez.

    Yes, there is contact. It was a sloppy move - but that's what they hand out yellows for, right?

    After the absolutely ridiculous red card handed out in the Australia - Germany match, my interest in the game has decreased substantially. Any kind of replay shows that Cahill did all in his power to avoid contact when he realised there was going to be a collision. A suspension in the next match was completely unjustified.

    Diving might be a popular sport elsewhere, but for somewhat casual watchers of the game it's deeply unattractive.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    but that's what they hand out yellows for, right?

    No. There was nobody else standing between Suarez and the open goal, so that was an automatic red card. That's just the rule.

    Cahill could have got away with a yellow card - there was some discretion there - but I personally would have sent him off. That was just a reckless tackle, and I'm not convinced he did enough to pull away from it. At any rate, it was hardly a grievous injustice - it had to be either yellow or red.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7385 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Re: Simulation.

    Those of us who watch rugby know how hard it is to bring a man down who doesn't want to be. With soccer it's inversely related to how well the striker has control of the ball, with much foot-dragging and arm waving.

    Since Nov 2006 • 480 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    You're right that, according to the rules, that was a foul, and since it was performed in a way that could have stopped a goal counts as a professional foul, and thus a red card must be handed out.

    I guess I'm just being driven spare by a game where it seems that any contact between players followed by a dive, no matter how incidental or unintentional, is awarded at least free kick.

    I also have to say that I find the reckless intrusion of referees into rugby also odious. The difference there is that it rarely has anything like the influence over the outcome of a game.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Hmmm. I've just found this blog. The calls in the games so far make more context when they're explained and rated in this way.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I guess I'm just being driven spare by a game where it seems that any contact between players followed by a dive, no matter how incidental or unintentional, is awarded at least free kick.

    As I was trying to say earlier, there are circumstances in which it is okay to dive - for instance the Mexico penalty - and it's still a foul. I frankly don't think that Suarez even accentuated the effects of that incident very much at all. Had he stayed on his feet, he would have scored an easy goal. So I don't really see the logic of the criticism.

    I think by far the greater problem in football than simulation is the fouling in midfield, a-la Cahill. Some time in the 90s they introduced this rule that a tackle from behind triggered an automatic red card - I'm not sure if they've actually rescinded that, but it was never seriously applied, which is really too bad.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7385 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    That youtube clip's a classic, Giovanni. You can see Suarez kick the ball too far around the goalie as his opportunity to chip is blocked, his eyes immediately drop to the goalie's foot, he drags his own foot into it, lands squarely, twists 180 degrees, and falls down in "agony".

    It is a perfect example of why countries that play contact sports cannot get behind soccer games. And to think, I was going to start calling it football. Pathetic.

    Since Nov 2006 • 480 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    As I was trying to say earlier, there are circumstances in which it is okay to dive - for instance the Mexico penalty - and it's still a foul.

    I've come around to this opinion about that penalty, actually, thanks to you and that referee blog...

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Actually, they agree with me on Cahill too. Thefore I like that blog and find it very knowledgeable and good!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7385 posts Report Reply

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