When watching the football last weekend, I was reminded of something that I’ve thought about for a while. ‘Diving’ or simulation is still a widespread issue in football. It’s not gamesmanship. For me, it’s a deliberate act of cheating.
Yet, the referees and officials could stamp it out of the game if they wanted to. Instead of refusing to book the diving players and waving away the protesting defenders, the referees could choose to red card them.
It would only take a few red cards and banned players to see these attempts to cheat vanish from the game.
The players continue to do it because they go unpunished and are repeatedly rewarded for their behaviour. The officials choose not to act harshly in the short term, (for fear of repercussions?) when they could remove a long term problem from the game.
VAR could be used to enforce this and retrospectively ban diving cheats.
There would be uproar for a few weeks whilst it was enforced and a lot of angry cheats in teams where diving is encouraged.
But I believe it would soon be eradicated from the game with serious short term action.
The question is whether we have the authority and respect to make these difficult choices in the short term to prevent long term problems?
What do you think?
How could you resolve a long term problem with one decision in your life?