Trials have begun on
revolutionary 'anti-diving' shin pads that can tell whether a player has been
fouled or not.
The pads have
innovative sensor technology that detect physical contact with players,
enabling referees to decide whether forwards have gone down as a result of simulation
or genuine foul play.
Andy Shaw of
designers Small Fry said: "Each pad has two sensors and magnets. One sensor is to
confirm another player is very close and one is an impact sensor.
sensors are triggered they set the alarm off. If a player tries to cheat and
kick himself in the shins, the proximity sensor will know it was not another
player and will not trigger".
The first trials take
place on Thursday at London's Battersea Park.
Former Premier League referee Jeff Winter said: "The
game has to change, we have reached a point where diving is becoming almost a
tolerated part of the game. It is not;
it is cheating and needs to be stamped out.
"Today's experiment shows just one of the ways
that we can look to aid decision making.
Be it shin pads, or goal-line sensors - there are whole host of options
out there and it's our duty to explore them."
The technology could have come in useful in
Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final between Chelsea and Manchester
The Blues were denied what looked a clear penalty
in stoppage time, before Fernando Torres was booked for diving.
Diving has become a scourge of the modern game. A national survey of seven to 12-year-olds by
Opinion Leader for Texaco revealed that the three things that children most
dislike about professional football today are: diving (48 per cent), dangerous
tackling (28 per cent) and shouting at the referee (18 per cent).