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Is diving cheating or just clever trickery?
September 18, 2009, 10:10 am
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills | Tags: , , , ,

David ClarkeThe obsession over attacker’s diving in England seems to me to be getting out of hand.

In Europe it is considered part of an attacker’s skill, to go down when they are touched in the penalty area. When Arsenal’s Eduardo won the penalty that caused Uefa to overreact and ban him then subsequently overturn that ban the rest of Europe will have admired the way he did it.

What worries me is that if we brand this as cheating what do we call all the other parts of a soccer match where players claim things, like corners when you appeal even though you know the ball was last played of you or taking a throw-in yards from where the ball went out?

Think about free-kicks when players won’t go back 10 yards or the player taking the free-kick moves the ball forward. Surely we can’t call all these things cheating?

When I first started coaching I kept wondering why so many calls were going against my team. I realized once I refereed a few matches that if one team calls the ball theirs and the other doesn’t, you tend to give it to the more vocal team. It’s just human nature. So I like to see all my players call for the ball when they know it is theirs.

We played a game recently where the opposition hit a shot very close to our goal at an acute angle and he claimed it had gone in and come out through a hole in the back of the goal. The opposition claimed the goal very vocally, as did the opposition parents. The young referee after deliberating for an instance gave the goal. It was not until then that my team questioned the referee, by then too late.

The ball had in fact flashed past the post.

You have to get up and get on with the game, gamesmanship like this happens in all sports – but is it cheating?



Why do junior players have to dive?

Young players watch their heroes on TV and see them diving to gain an advantage over their opponents.

It’s no wonder they dive. And it isn’t easy for referees to judge who is diving and who has really been fouled. I don’t like to see it, but there have been some very comical moments when a young player tries to con the referee and we all end up laughing.

Watch this video of Atletico Junior v America de Cali in Colombia. I don’t think the Atletico fans were laughing at this but how on earth did the assistant referee fail to spot it?

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