Last Sunday, the Crystal Palace manager, Tony Pulis, said that the club would fine Jerome Thomas and Marouane Chamakh after their dives against Swansea. I hope that other managers will learn from this example because I really don’t want England to become like Spain and Brazil, where diving is part of the game.
Diving is something I take quite seriously and the same is true for many English fans, players and managers. However, this certainly isn’t the case in other areas, especially South American and other European countries. In these places, many players are brought up with the mindset of diving and exaggeration of contact to try and get his opponent yellow carded or sent off. I think this is just really bad. Why would you want to get someone sent off? Why would you want to cheat?
There have been some incredible examples of diving/exaggeration of contact. I think back to Rivaldo in the 2002 World Cup, where the ball is kicked at him by Hakan Unsal, it hits him on the knee and he goes down like he’s been punched in the face. Unsal was given a red card. I just think it’s really disappointing. Yes, he shouldn’t have kicked the ball but to exaggerate it like that was unacceptable.
Even these days, there are people like Sergio Busquets, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jordi Alba and Pepe. These are all players, who have a history (and are almost known for) their diving. Interestingly, all these players are in the Spanish league and diving happens on such a frequent basis in that country.
Fortunately in comparison, it’s nowhere near as bad in England. Sure, there are people like Luis Suarez, who dives every now and again but it’s not common because it’s really looked down upon. For example, last Sunday in the Capital One Cup Final, Phil Bardsley came charging in with a tackle on David Silva, who is Spanish, really early in the game. In my opinion, that was a dangerous tackle and could have easily been a yellow card but what I was pleased to see was Silva made nothing of it and just continued with the game.
I also want to see other countries follow our example when it comes to diving. That is, just not to do it. Be respectful to your fellow professional and get on with the game.