The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world of football and this season has been no different.
The amount of quality in the league allows teams from around the country compete with the best in the competition and this makes for a great viewing even for the neutrals. But with stakes that high, not many players settle for anything less than 3 points every weekend.
This competitiveness has in the past, seen, teams and players resort to illegal means of getting results during the game, the biggest means being luring the match officials into making contentious decisions.
The sport of football has its foundations build on respect but when it comes to a competitive game, nothing matter more than winning. So the governing bodies have refrained themselves from making the lives of the players even tougher.
However, with the antics becoming all the more regular, FA, the football governing body in the UK is now planning to take further steps to stop these activities.
In the recent game between Liverpool and Manchester United at the Old Trafford, Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera and Brazil attacker Roberto Firmino were involved in a tussle in the middle of the pitch.
The United man was seen blatantly pulling Firmino’s shirt as the latter was busy trying to create on the last opportunity for his side. Though Firmino almost got clear, Herrera, continued to pull on his jersey till he came to a half and this did not go down well with the Liverpool man.
Firmino was seen shoving Herrera away with both hands and the midfielder immediately went to ground clutching his face. According to the FA rules, a player catching the face of an opponent in an illegal manner is to be shown a straight red. Both players escaped severe punishment as the duo only got a couple of yellow cards.
But on further scrutiny, it was clear that Firmino never touched Herrera’s face and his antics after the contact is what is making FA rethink their rules.
And according to reports from The Times, the FA is now set to impose a further ban of 2 games for players who are seen simulating during the game hoping to get a decision from the referee.
The Scottish FA have already implemented the rule in their domestic league to decent success. Rule 201 centres on players attempting to mislead the officials and was brought into action in 2011.
This rule states: “No player shall cause a match official to make an incorrect decision and/or support an error of judgment on the part of a match official by an act of simulation which results in that player’s team being awarded a penalty kick and/or an opponent being dismissed and/or any other substantial advantage being gained.”
Speaking to the media about this new rule a source close to the FA said, “On the face of it, it’s a good idea. The devil is in the detail, but as a tool to penalise blatant simulation versus ‘did he dive or slip?’ it is now being investigated. It is being discussed with the SFA and some FA people are going up to Scotland for a meeting on how it is working.”
It is understood that most of the officials in the FA are in favour of this rule change and the Premier League might get it in no time.
Do you think a 2 match ban for simulation is the way to go for the FA?