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FIFA President Sepp Blatter Proposes ‘Time Penalties’ As Punishment For Dirty, Soulless, Injury-Feigning Divers

By Chris Wright

Morocco Soccer Club World Cup

In what can only be described as a shocking moment of lucidity, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has sort of half-proposed that players caught feigning injury should be sanctioned with on-the-spot ‘time penalties’ to prevent them from returning to the pitch immediately after being stretchered off.

It would appear that Ol’ Sepp has had enough of watching players eat up minutes by screaming into the turf in agony after throwing themselves to the ground and then miraculously springing back to their feet the moment they reach the touchline – not forgetting, of course, the ‘gingerly limp for three steps to check legs still function before jogging back to position’ charade they all seem to perform upon re-entering the fray.

Writing in his weekly column over on the FIFA website, Blatter said:

“I find it deeply irritating, when the half-dead player comes back to life as soon as they have left the pitch.

“The referee can make the player wait until the numerical disadvantage has had an effect on the game.

“In practical terms, this is a time penalty and it could cause play-actors to rethink.

“The touchline appears to have acquired powers of revival which even leading medical specialists cannot explain.

“Even though simulation is incredibly unfair and looks preposterous when viewed in a replay, some people regard it as smart or in the worst case as a harmless misdemeanour.

“The longest breaks in the game nowadays are almost exclusively the result of dives, simulation and play-acting to feign injury.

“This kind of thing is treated with scorn in other sporting disciplines but it has become a normal and accepted part of football nowadays.”

Finally, a bit of sense from the dumpling. We can’t believe we actually whole-heartedly agree with Sepp on something.

On the surface Blatter’s suggestion seems like a fairly good idea – anything that will work towards players going unrewarded for diving should be seen as such – though of course it’s likely that referees won’t be willing to make that kind of judgement call. Imagine the repercussions of a ref wrongly refusing to allow a genuinely injured player to receive treatment: multi-shitfits abound.

There have already been 13 yellow cards for ‘simulation’ issued in the Premier League this season but in reality there are 10-30 dives peppering every game at the moment – players taking the easy way out of difficult situations by waiting for contact and plummeting.

It’s far too easy for players to get what they’re fishing for out of referees at the moment – it’s this aspect that needs to be addressed more immediately in our book.

Any thoughts, Pies fans?

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By Chris on January 3rd, 2014 in Newsnow, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “FIFA President Sepp Blatter Proposes ‘Time Penalties’ As Punishment For Dirty, Soulless, Injury-Feigning Divers”

  1. JoeT says:

    I think television refs should be used to see if players have dived

  2. Alex says:

    Referees need to get their act together, they need to recognise that a player going down holding his face or somersaulting through the air are not natural reactions to injuries, so they can apply the rules and recognise the players who are trying to cheat, but they get fooled every time.

  3. Steve-o says:

    The problem will be if it’s left to the referee’s discretion.

    The way this will work is if it’s black and white. i.e. A player goes down and play is stopped because of it: automatic minimum of 2 minutes on the sidelines to receive treatment. The fourth official can worry about time out so the field ref doesn’t have to. etc etc.

    Anything that is left grey will be taken advantage of or circumvented or simply ignored.


  4. Jarren says:

    Most big grounds have massive screens replaying the game in actual time, so if the game is stopped for an “injury” why can’t the referee simply look to said screens and see what exactly happened?

    Everyone at home watches the replays seconds after the event, yet the referees seem unable to do the same!

    Referees are only human, they are not machines with instant slo-mo replay in their retinas, so allow them to review decisions once the game has stopped this way.

    And if the player has been clearly shown to have dived or is over reacting, give them a 5 minute “sin bin” treatment like they do in other sports.

    Or kick them in the bollocks for being cheating bastards.

  5. Glenn says:

    There’s an easy way round this. Sack the bookings off and don’t punish the players during the game, if a player is deemed to have dived when he actually didn’t he faces the prospect of being punished twice (a booking and not getting the free kick or penalty). Instead use video replays to retrospectively dish out a ban for guilty parties. If it’s an offence that could win a penalty or get another player dismissed then make it a 3 game ban. If a defender can get a 3 match ban for unfairly denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity, then surely an attacker should be liable for the same ban for unfairly creating an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Watch how quickly Ashley Young and Gareth Bale change their ways with the proposition of a few games on the sideline rather than the token gesture of a booking, it’d take five separate offences for an actual punishment to occur.

  6. Steve-o says:


    How does banning a player later benefit the team that they dove against? It only benefits the teams in any upcoming fixtures.

    Do you think Suarez cares what happens to him for the next game? No. He has to be stopped the moment it happens.

  7. skipper says:

    NO NO NO NO NO!!!

    That’s what Yellow Cards are for!

    Or, perhaps we need a third colored card. Say, teal, vermillion, or burnt umber??

    I think yellow works quite well for the cowards.

  8. Tellitasitis says:

    Three minutes treatment time off the pitch for any player who goes down ‘injured’, or else an immediate sub with no treatment time penalty. Upon review of footage, 3 match ban for any ‘dive’, where contact was not made. I’d even base the latter on dives, where the ref didn’t buy it & allowed play to proceed.

  9. Mario says:

    dive = free kick and card.
    video review after the game, suspension and fine if needed.

    Glenn says with regards to no punishment in game.
    “if a player is deemed to have dived when he actually didn’t”

    thought about this one but the refs are there for a reason to make calls… so i would still give the yellow.
    its an offence just like a bad tackle.

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