Sunday 28 December 2014

Rio: Stamp out diving across Europe

Published 17/09/2013 | 11:01

Rio Ferdinand believes retrospective punishment could prevent players from diving
Rio Ferdinand believes retrospective punishment could prevent players from diving

Rio Ferdinand insists any move to stamp out diving must extend beyond the Premier League.

Manchester United have found themselves at the centre of a storm this week after Ashley Young was booked for initiating contact with Crystal Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi at Old Trafford on Saturday, before going to ground looking for a spot-kick.

The incident, followed by Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak's dismissal against Brighton on Sunday have sparked yet another debate over the issue of diving.

And Ferdinand accepts there is no easy solution.

"It's weird," he said. "It's got to happen across Europe and the world, not just in our league.

"You go into the Champions League and you have been told in the Premier League you are not meant to dive, then you get players from other countries who simulate.

"As a defender, you don't want people trying to con the referee, but if there is contact, the player has the right to go down.

"It has become a part of our game that, as defenders, we are used to.

"You have got to defend with your head and think how you are going to combat the forwards.

"They are cute and know how to deal with this type of stuff.

"It is such a difficult thing for referees to say someone dived or there was contact.

"Retrospective viewing and punishments may be the way to go."

United boss David Moyes certainly feels so, even if he thinks referee Jon Moss handled the Young incident correctly.

"I can never be sure it won't happen again," said Moyes.

"I have had a word with him (Young) privately.

"I've said for many years we should have retrospective video for diving. That would help referees no end.

"Moving from Everton to Manchester United doesn't change my views on that because it is really difficult at times."

Palace chairman Steve Parish has gone even further, claiming diving should be treated in the same harsh manner as preventing goalscoring opportunities.

"If preventing a goal-scoring opportunity is a straight red then trying to create one by cheating should be a straight red also," Parish told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The only player in the incidents that was honest was Kagisho Dikgacoi and he's sent off and banned for the next match.

"Ashley Young's dive and the appeal before put pressure on the referee to give a subsequent penalty that was certainly outside the area and probably wasn't even a foul.

"Ashley Young has a yellow card and three points and we have no points and one less player to pick from for the next game.

"(It) might have cost us a point that might keep us up. (We) need to get some momentum behind a straight red for a dive."

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