Sin-Binning in South Africa? No thanks.

Should divers like Didier be sin-binned?

Should divers like Didier be sin-binned?

After UEFA’s spectacular cock-up regarding the whole Eduardo diving affair recently, it looks like FIFA’s vice-prez Jack Warner wants in on the action. Warner suggested today that referees need to toughen up on players who dive or overact on the pitch and that in next year’s World Cup in South Africa, those judged to be attempting to con the referee could be sin-binned for five minutes.

Now don’t get me wrong, as I said when UEFA foolishly revoked Eduardo’s ban, I am well and truly in favour of the sport’s governing body taking a hard line on diving which is, as far as I’m concerned, the biggest blight on modern football. However, it seems blatantly obvious to me that sin-binning simply is not the way to go, and introducing it straight into the World Cup would be a huge mistake. FIFA need to act yes, but they need to think it through first.

Click through to find out why sin-binning isn’t a good idea…


Simulating Progress: One Step Forward but Two Steps Back.

Cool, calm and composed: attributes of a great high-diver.

Cool, calm and composed: attributes of a great high-diver.

So UEFA have back tracked on their decision to ban Eduardo for his blatant dive in the second leg of Arsenal’s Champions League match with Celtic a few weeks ago. After all the discussion that the incident has provoked, this is a pretty tame ending to the saga with UEFA backing down after Arsenal showed that “there was contact between the keeper and Eduardo” and thus convinced UEFA “that the referee hadn’t been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty.”

Eduardo has followed a fine Arsenal tradition that sees players speaking unwisely in public by asserting that he is “very pleased we have finally arrived at the truth” despite the fact that the whole world still knows that he dived, and if anything the abuse he’s received since the incident will now increase. I’m a bit mixed on this reversal though, because while UEFA did somewhat unfairly make an example of the Croatian, it looked like they were finally going to make a stand against diving.

Click through for the full article…

Be Quiet Wayne: Claiming Sainthood just makes you a Sinner.


Wayne Rooney: clearly a hypocrite.

Wayne Rooney: clearly a hypocrite.

So on Thursday, despite the entire nation seeing him blatantly dive to win a penalty against Arsenal at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney insisted that he is an “honest player” who doesn’t deliberately try to deceive the referees to win penalties. A few days later, Rooney – this time in an England shirt – again tumbled to the ground unnecessarily, appealed to the referee and was awarded a penalty. Rooney certainly isn’t the saint he claims to be, mainly because of his own hypocrisy.

And this is what really rankles with me. While I despise players for diving in football, and I think it’s a dishonest and shameful thing to do, I fully understand why they do it. The gain from diving for a penalty is enormous, and the chances of pulling it off in today’s game are very high. It’s no surprise that players do it and we all know that it goes on. The blame for that lies with those who haven’t been forceful enough in stamping it out, but when Rooney makes such hypocritical claims, he makes himself look stupid.

Click through to find out why…

Daylight Robbery

Everton were literally crowded out at Villa Park, with 12 men playing their 11.

Everton were literally crowded out at Villa Park, with 12 men playing their 11.

It is 2.57am in New Zealand as I write this, and I have an alarm set for 6 o’clock to get a ferry in the morning. However, having just seen Everton robbed of three points by Aston Villa feat. Howard Webb I feel compelled to expel some of the frustration that is coursing through me here.

The game summed up two different styles of football. Everton played entertaining, stylish and passing stuff, it was slick and at times beautiful. From the off, Villa couldn’t handle it and so they turned on the muscle, flying into challenges and jumping all over Fellaini, Cahill and Jo who were a constant threat.

Click through to discover in full the injustice of the match at Villa Park…

Simulating Society: Why diving is unacceptable.

Ronaldo crashes to the ground, is football and our whole society going down with him?

Ronaldo crashes to the ground, is football and our whole society going down with him?

There has been much furore this week about diving, which is a phenomenon we have been seeing increasingly often over the past few years in the English games. Once the ploy of foreign flair players as a way to cope with the physical nature of the game in this country, this method of conning referees is now widespread throughout the game, with all types of players indulging in it.

Blackburn fans were quick to abuse Cristiano Ronaldo for his diving antics at the weekend, and yet were screaming for a penalty when Morten Gamst Pedersen went down rather too easily at the other end. It seems that in many ways football fans have come to regard diving with a sort of biased eye – it’s fine for your team, but as soon as anyone else does it, they are the scum of the earth.

Click through to read the whole article…