English Premiership

Premier League crackdown on divers

2017-08-02 10:57
Ashley Young (Getty Images)

Cape Town - A new era in English soccer begins on Friday with a crackdown on players who cheat referees by diving to win a penalty or get an opponent sent off.

The second-tier Championship games between Sunderland and Derby County and between Nottingham Forest and Millwall will be the first in which players can be retrospectively punished with two-match bans if they are found guilty in a trial by video.

Diving for penalties has been a growing problem in the English game.

Most clubs in the top two divisions were accused of it at some point last season, with Marcus Rashford of Manchester United, Leroy Sane of Manchester City and Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur coming under the spotlight on a single weekend.

The crackdown, announced in May, is aimed at players who go unpunished during the match for actions that have a significant bearing on it. The Football Association will be able to charge them with "successful deception of a match official".

Its implementation follows a year of feedback from players and officials and it is adapted from a similar regulation in force in Scotland.

While controversies there are settled by a compliance officer, in England a three-person panel consisting of an ex-player, an ex-manager and an ex-referee will sit in judgement.

All three must agree there is a "clear and overwhelming case" for a charge to be brought.

If the player accepts a charge he will be given an immediate two-match ban. If not, the case will go before an FA independent regulatory commission that deals with all disciplinary issues.

Players proved to be the innocent victims of cheating will have red cards, although not yellow ones, rescinded.

The crackdown is an extension of the FA's "not seen" measure, which led to retrospective bans for Tyron Mings and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for clashes that were not picked up by officials in last season's game between Bournemouth and Manchester United.

Not everyone thinks the new measure goes far enough, however.

Former England manager Sam Allardyce criticised it for having no provision to remove cards for players wrongly accused of diving.

He also wants greater use of in-game video technology of the kind used at this summer's Confederations Cup when six "game-changing decisions" were changed. World soccer body Fifa said the experiment had "really good results but many aspects should be improved".

Read more on:    english premiership  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.