Diving footballers to receive two-match bans from next season as English game cracks down on simulation

Frank Dalleres
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Leicester City v West Ham United - Premier League
Leicester's Jamie Vardy was shown a second yellow card for diving against West Ham last season (Source: Getty)

Footballers found guilty of diving or feigning injury are to be retrospectively banned for two matches, under new rules to be introduced in England next season.

The rule will apply if the cheating resulted in an unjustified penalty or sending-off, with possible offences to be reviewed by a three-man panel on the Monday after a round of fixtures.

If a player is unanimously found guilty then, similar to the Football Association’s (FA) existing policy on retrospective violent conduct charges, they face being banned before their next game.

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Referees will still be able to book players for simulation but the FA said of the new measures: “The fact that the act of simulation has succeeded in deceiving a match official and, therefore, led to a penalty and/or dismissal, justifies a more severe penalty which would act as a deterrent.”

The rule change, which was approved by the FA Council on Thursday, also allows for yellow and red card issued to opponents as a result of the simulation to be rescinded.

Scotland has used a similar system for the last five years, and it is believed that their successful implementation helped to persuade the FA to follow suit.

The move could also hasten the rule’s adoption globally. World governing body Fifa has not challenged the policy of the Scottish FA which, along with its English counterparts, is an influential voice in lawmaking.

Allardyce slams "rubbish" change

Speaking before it was confirmed, Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce called the rule change “utter rubbish”, arguing that it would not prevent players wrongly being booked for diving.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche insisted in December that retrospective action would quickly eradicate simulation. “Within six months the panel would be defunct because people wouldn’t be doing it anymore,” he said.

Football was slow to introduce technology but in the last five years has embraced goal-line sensors and is in the advanced stages of trialling in-game video replays for “match-changing” incidents.

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