Professional Footballers’ Association chief Gordon Taylor has called for video technology to aid the sport in punishing players for diving.
Simulation has become a major talking point once more after Arsenal’s 2-0 victory against West Brom on Saturday, where Santi Cazorla threw himself to the ground despite little, if any, contract between him and defender Steven Reid.
Taylor refused to criticise individual players for their actions, but insisted that the football world must unite against those who engage in such activities and condemn them, suggesting that video technology may be the way forwards.
“I don’t want to personalise it because he wouldn’t be the first player accused of diving and he won’t be the last, but it’s an issue that we all need to address,” Taylor told Sky Sports News.
“Management, coaching staff, players and supporters have all got to buy into this and condemn it.
“This has been a non-stop subject for a long time now – how we best deal with it given the pace of the game and the difficulties for referees and the assistant referees to judge
“I think it’s going to be inevitable that if technology comes in for goal-line decisions and penalty decisions, then it will help in these situations.
“Other sports move on and use technology and do all they can to be as successful as football, so we’ve got to keep at that cutting edge.”
Taylor also wants the Premier League to look at installing crowd netting at grounds to prevent incidents such as the one on Sunday when Rio Ferdinand was hit above the eye with a coin thrown from the crowd during the Manchester derby.
Nine people have since been charged with various offences from the match, which United won 3-2 after a Robin van Persie late winner.
Taylor said thought must be given as to how to prevent such incidents from happening again.
“I think you’ve got to give consideration to possibly, as has been suggested, some netting in vulnerable areas, be it behind the goals and round the corner flags,” Taylor told BBC Radio 5 Live.
Ferdinand, meanwhile, attempted to make light of the clash after the game, while making a point of thanking his former international team-mate Hart for diffusing the situation.
“What a result, 3points! Sweet! Whoever threw that coin,what a shot! Can’t believe it was a copper 2p….could have at least been a £1 coin!,” Ferdinand wrote on Twitter.
“Respect to Joe Hart for protecting that idiot who ran on!! Love the banter between fans but there is a point when it goes too far…calm it.”