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FIFA: Diving becoming a 'cancer' in football

The statement comes in light of a high-profile incident involving Luis Suarez at the weekend.

Jim Boyce (file photo).
Jim Boyce (file photo).

FIFA VICE-PRESIDENT Jim Boyce believes that diving is becoming a ‘cancer’ to the game and wants the issue to be dealt with more swiftly in the future.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was at the centre of a diving furore in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Stoke, and the issue has since become a hot topic.

In the aftermath of the game, Stoke manager Tony Pulis called for players to be banned for three matches if they have been deemed guilty of diving.

The FA currently does not allow retrospective punishments to be handed to players guilty of diving.

The issue has been discussed by the FA, the Premier League and the Football League before, but Boyce believes that it should be re-addressed and a change of policy is needed.

“I have seen several incidents recently, and I watched the latest Suarez incident two or three times, and to me it is nothing less than a form of cheating,” he said.

“It is becoming a little bit of a cancer within the game and I believe if it is clear to everyone that it is simulation then that person is trying to cheat and they should be severely punished for that.

“It can be dealt with retrospectively by disciplinary committees, and it is done so in some associations, and I believe that is the correct thing to do.

“It can at times be very, very difficult for referees to judge whether something is a foul or a fair tackle and if players are diving then it makes their job even harder.”

The Premier League has previously suggested a three-man panel to review contentious incidents after every weekend, which would include the issue of diving.

The Premier League would be open to renewing such discussions on putting such a system in place.

The FA have said they have often reviewed the issue.

“Simulation is not something that the FA currently take retrospective action over but it is an issue that is often reviewed and discussed by the game’s stakeholders,” an FA spokesman said.

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