OPINION: Football reaching new depths

Joe Skeggs takes the moral high ground on one of football’s most divisive talking points

You will be hard pressed to find a passionate fan who loves the spectacle of a well-timed dive. My biggest issue is that plainly, it is cheating and goes against the already decreasing morals and sportsmanship of the game, whilst degrading the sport as a whole.

A foreign player in the Premier League will be persecuted and criminalised by pundits and fans alike, whereas, a young and English talent will be lauded as a “genius” who knew exactly what he was doing and worked well to “earn” his team a penalty.

Referees are scared to make big decisions and don’t want to risk their own necks and the negative press they will receive, often leading to no clear decision being made and players being allowed to get away with diving even if a free kick is not awarded.

To fix this, referees should be taught to be ruthless in these situations and make a call which may not always be favourable to the home support. To make them more comfortable, there should be a panel of officials who decide whether a card stands or not and can be rescinded after a game.

With this added confidence, officials will be more likely to punish cheaters eventually forcing diving out of the game.

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