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Martinez calls for action on ´diving´

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez says he understands why players dive and wants referees to stamp it out from the game.

Martinez is better judged than most to comment on the diving debate, with the 39-year-old leaving his native Spain at the age of 22 to embark on a playing career in the United Kingdom, playing at Wigan, Motherwell, Walsall, Swansea City and Chester City.

He says he had to change his attitude towards diving immediately but says that while he does not condone it, players from other countries have been taught to simulate from a young age.

“You need to understand why players dive,” Martinez said.

“I’m not saying it is right. But we need to understand that this player has been told that that was right and was just doing his job on the football pitch.

“When you are a young player in one country they will tell you that it is a good thing to do and in another one we all know that we don’t want to see diving and that’s just the cultural differences you get in the modern game, especially in the Premier League.

“(When you come to England) you really understand that it is wrong to do it and you cannot do it and you really buy into it and you understand the meaning of it.

“(In) other countries they don’t see it that way…they see it that both teams are allowed to do anything to try and get a decision from a referee and that it is down to the referee to make the right call and that is an impossible job.”

Despite being empathetic, Martinez said it is essential that diving is not tolerated in any form.

“I think it is important that now referees can stamp that out that from the game,” he said.

“We don’t want to see people simulate and people they dive to get to decisions.”

Thu 11 October, 2012
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