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  • Paddy Paddy Dec 6, 2011 10:15 Flag

    Cheating In Football

    Suarez dives. Everyone knows it and I keep hearing & seeing fans, players & commentators (and what appeared last night as the ref) referring to it.

    Of course, he's not alone. Gerrard dives, as does Rooney, Drogba and many others.

    But why is diving considered taboo where other forms of cheating in our game happen every week and don't get the same reaction?

    In last nights game, a defender rugby tackled an attacker when it looked like he was going to go through on goal. He didn't make any attempt to play the ball, only rushing to the ref to tell him the foul was outside the box. Why is this not every bit as much a form of cheating as diving?

    Likewise, in every game you see two players contest a throw-in/corner. In the majority of cases one of those players know he is cheating.

    So my question is this ... why have some forms of cheating in football become acceptable whilst others are still reviled by those who watch, comment on or play the game? Any thoughts?

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    • Ronaldo had longer in the PL to practice his dark arts of p8ssing off the rest of the world!

      Suarez may yet aspire to such heights :-)

      I never liked Ronaldo as a personality, but he reminded me of the story Bobby Charlton told about George Best, which culiminated in him breating him for being greedy and then finishing the line with 'great goal, George.'

      But 42 goals in a season means you tolerate a few downsides.

    • The press and maybe society in general loves to build people up and then knock them over. Seems this maybe even more apparent when someone who is foreign.

      I'm not backing Suarez to the hilt here, far from it. He's an incredibly gifted player, who is both creative and unpredictable which is why he gives defenders nightmares. However I think his biggest fault is the complaining and pouting.

      I don't have a problem with a player complaining to the ref when he feels he's getting more than just the rough treatment, but what Suarez needs to understand there is a point where complaining starts having a negative effect. Cried wolf comes to mind.

      Maybe because I saw more of Ronaldo as he played longer in the league compared with Suarez so far, and maybe I am slightly biased, but so far I still don't see Suarez's negative antics rising to the level of your former number 7. But while on the one hand players of their indisputable talent should be protected as they are among the types of players who light up football, they also don't do themselves any favors if or when they engage in gamesmanship themselves.

    • Well written, I couldn't have said it better.

      Your point about the different standards for defenders and forwards is also interesting.

      To come back to Suarez, I see the press demonising him, which will be picked up by a certain section of opposition fans, shades of CR7 a few years ago. Great player, not so clever individual, who suffered a backlash for his behaviour.

      Not good and unfortunately the 24x7 media need stories and pounce on every indiscretion, he'd do well to keep his head down for a while and concentrate on playing, as he has talent, for sure.

    • If memory serves correctly Ralf the verbiage in the laws are impeded rather than brought down. However, maybe that is where the problem comes from. Not what the rules actually say, but how we, and more importantly refs think and interpret them.

      Understandably refs when they can play the advantage. This speeds up the game, helps it flow better, and the advantage can be a real blessing if there truly is advantage to be played. But that is my real question. When a player is imbedded, but not to a point where he is brought off his feet, who has the advantage?

      What seems to be forgotten here in the discussion of is what the defenders are doing. Most smart defenders do whatever they can to defend. Most will push right up to what is allowed, and when they can get away with it go over the line, or at least try and blur the line. Our own Cara is a master at it. A push here, or a pull there are often used to gain position or to put off an attacking player. A shoulder barge maybe perfectly legal, but a shove in the back, no matter how light, if it impedes the attacker is not.

      It may be too much to ask the ref to see each and every one of these, although it seems some such as from set plays are ignored deliberately, or to understand who has the advantage if they are seen. However for some reason when a player decides to complain about this type of infringement, or actually highlight it be falling over the next time he feels his shirt being pulled, his ankles getting tapped, or a shove is demonized, while I suppose the defenders are just good strong physical players. There's gamesmanship on both sides here, a certain amount of deceit, and maybe a fair bit of cheating as well.

    • Dave

      I try to be non-partisan and do find some of the threads on here to be interesting and well informed.

      I don't know whether Berbatov dived or whether a slight push was enough to send him over and the replay does little to help; yes, the contact is minimal, but it is with foot and hand, to the letter of the law, the ref is justified in giving a penalty, although I can understand reds fans being annoyed by it.

      look this one


      It is posted as 'Torres dive', but for me, Carrick makes contact with him and once again, only Torres knows if that caused him to go down a little late.

      Having played sport at a reasonable level (not football) I am aware of the effect very slight impacts can have.

      Anyway, now we've been reasonable, Torres is in lien for an Oscar and Dracula was hacked down and lucky not to lose his leg ;-)

    • I think this one may prove my point on how subjective video replays can be. If Ralf, who I view as a reasonable poster despite being a manc, thinks there is enough contact to impede Berbatov, let alone enough to bring him down, I'm sure most mancs will claim it was a stonewall penalty, even if the majority of posters on here disagree.

      But after looking at this video again, I had a little ironic chuckle as still no-one has taken my challenge of posting an example of Suarez's diving in a Liverpool shirt, and I do think they'll be hard pressed to come up with one even half as good as this one.


    • Dsteer

      Having reviewed the laws, there is no requirement for the player to fall over for the penalty to be given.

      If a speedy player is gently pushed, it may not be enough to cause him to fall over, but may well have put him off scoring or at least having a shot or passing.

      So I have a natural sympathy for your arguement.

      As for Saurez, it seems to me that he is being picked on at the moment and I have not yet seen a lot worse behaviour than from some others (including Utd players), reserving judgment and witholding comment on the Evra allegations, until the FA reports. Making a sign to the crowd is not clever (however understandable), but he is by no means the first player to do this.

    • Robert I mentioned the hand ball by Suarez in the world cup not because its been specifically raised, but because its part of this so called reputation that Suarez is said to be building up. The world cup is the first place many saw Suarez up close. It was also one of the bigger talking points of the tournament, and as what he did is a violation of the laws of game, it can be called cheating.

      As for the card system, your ideas may have merit; however being realistic I don't see the FA, the Prem, UEFA and FIFA all agreeing to a change like this in the near future. If they can't even agree on magic eye a technology that has been in tennis for years, but would rather experiment with the cutting edge idea of a man on the touchline, it tells you have progressive football hierarchy is. However, as the league already has the ability to sanction violent play post matches, so increasing the scope of infringements they can address might be something plausible they can do now.

      Lastly let me ask a question to address this idea that Suarez "stops playing, falls over and starts demanding the referee gives him free kicks or penalties". Lets do this via a hypothetical, so leave players, whether its Suarez, Drogba, or Nani out of it.

      If a player is making a run at goal, and is infringed upon by a defender (push, kicked, blocked, or whatever you like) in a way that is clearly definable as a foul, if the player can stay on his feet should he? But let me just caveat that, because of the infringement, while the attacking player can physically stay on his feet, he has potentially lost speed, balance and or complete control of the ball, which have in the attacking players view reduced the effectiveness of his attack (maybe being off balance he can't shoot as hard, or as accurately, maybe the infringement will give time for a keeper to get a better position or a covering player to come across) so what should he do, or what is he allowed to do?

    • Robert

      Just had a look at the rules and found the following reasons for a ref to award a penalty, if committed in the penalty area.

      1 kicks or attempts to kick an opponent;
      2 trips an opponent, i.e., throwing or attempting to throw him by the use of the legs or by stooping in front of or behind him;
      3 jumps at an opponent;
      4 charges an opponent in a violent or dangerous manner;
      5 charges an opponent from behind unless the latter is obstructing;
      6 strikes or attempts to strike an opponent or spits at him;
      7 holds an opponent;
      8 pushes an opponent;
      9 handles the ball, i.e., carries, strikes or propels the ball with his hand or arm; (this does not apply to the goalkeeper within his own penalty-area);

      Looking at the replays, it seems to me that Webb can reasonably award the penalty for # 8, it does not say he has to push him hard or cause him to fall.

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