Friday, April 27, 2018

Diving has become the scourge of our game

Germany legend Jurgen Klinsmann in familiar pose during his playing days

I have to say as a football fan and journalist I tend to watch a lot of football.

In recent years the rise in diving has been ridiculous and is now blighting our game as a whole.

Some rather naïve pundits have blamed the influx of foreign players for the curse in the English game, but the problem spreads far further than the Premier League.


One of the main characters in the play of diving is Uruguayan international striker Luis Suarez. The Liverpool star has been accused of diving, simulation, or whatever you want to call it.

Suarez has dived and does go down incredibly easily. He has garnered himself a reputation of a cheat and that reputation is not undeserved. Even when he is fouled now he isn’t given decisions.

The reason why Suarez doesn’t get penalties is because the Uruguayan has a flair for the dramatic. If he is touched he rolls over or throws himself in the air. These movements often don’t look natural and persuade the referee that he has dived.

Unfortunately, Luis Suarez will have to go a long way to rebuild his reputation within the English game. He just needs to get on with the game instead of going down like he has been shot every single time everybody goes near him in the box.


Tottenham and Wales winger Gareth Bale is the latest to be involved in an alleged diving row. Bale won a crucial penalty in Wales 2-1 victory over Scotland on Friday night in World Cup qualifying.

Since the incident we have had numerous people coming out claiming that Bale had dived to win the penalty kick. However, Shaun Maloney the player that fouled Bale to give away the penalty has stated that he felt it was a foul and that Bale hadn’t dived.

It’s not the first time that Bale has been accused of diving. He has been accused of going down easily on a few occasions earlier in his career. Gareth Bale is very quick and sometimes when you are running at speed the slightest touch can knock you off balance.

He has to be careful though that he doesn’t get a reputation like the one Suarez currently has. Reputations are easy to get, but hard to get rid of. Bale is a very gifted footballer and he doesn’t need to dive, just like Suarez doesn’t.


The art of diving is a not new one. Footballers have done it for a while now. When I was growing up I remembered watching the great German striker Jurgen Klinsmann. He was famous for his theatrics.

He spent more time on the turf than most groundskeepers, but he was still a great player. When he arrived in the Premier League with Tottenham he made light of his reputation by celebrating his first goal with a dive and a number of his teammates joined in.


A lot of continent players mastered the art of diving during the seventies, eighties and nineties. However, it has spread like wild fire in the English game over the last decade or so. Players are under pressure to win by any means nowadays and they will try every trick in the book to gain an advantage.

Some people say that it happens and we just have to accept that it’s now part of the game. I don’t think we should. Players that cheat should be shown zero tolerance, or our game will end up more like the Olympic diving competition than football.

Should cheating players be given harsher punishments?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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Yes. I’d say a six figure fine and a minimum ban of 10 matches. In repeat offender’s cases (like Ronaldo and Suarez) maybe even a season long ban if they don’t clean up their act.

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