Now that the World Cup has ended and the best footballing team has rightly won, a thought from someone who loves the game. (Me). And it's this:
FIFA or some body now HAS to grasp the nettle and act to sort out the diving and injury simulation that is endemic in the game. In all the comments I've read on the web over the last few weeks this has been the number one complaint about the game from football newbies, and rightly so.
Is it too much to ask that tapes be reviewed after the match and cases of blatant diving and other cynical attempts to get opponents booked and sent off and/ or to gain an advantage be highlighted and exposed? It wouldn't change the result of that match but the cumulative effect would surely be salutary and force associations, managements and players to begin put a stop to it. It's dirty and is ruining the game.
In the world of real football fouls, Luis Suarez of Uruguay got the most flak in the tournament for his goalline handball, but his offence was FULLY PUNISHED: he was sent off, incurring a suspension, and the oppponents awarded a penalty. It isn't Suarez' fault that Gyan missed it. It's the great unpunished that concern me.
Players throughout the tournament, in match after match, from virtually every team bar North Korea (I most certainly CANNOT exclude England), disgraced the game with their ridiculous antics in throwing themselves to the ground and rolling around in simulated agony in the hope of gaining an advantage or of getting an opponent booked or sent off. Let's reserve especial vemon for players of real ability (I'm looking at YOU now Arjen Robben) who'll dive to the ground squealing like a child and then pursue the referee shrieking abuse if, just this once, he's not stupid enough to be fooled.
From my readings in forums such as REDDIT, for every "soccer" fan from the USA that the game has gained or confirmed in the last month, it has lost, or failed to persuade, just as many through an honest disgust at this behaviour. And frankly I can't find it in my heart to blame them, because it is cancerous to the game.