As a Liverpool fan watching the match on Sunday naturally I was disappointed. Firstly with the result, as a 0-0 draw at home against Stoke is simply not good enough for a side with Liverpool’s rumoured aspirations (fourth place finish and trophy according to Steven Gerrard in a BBC interview). However another thing was disappointing to see was Luis Suarez going to ground so easily.
To put it simply, the Uruguayan is not doing himself any favours. Suarez already has a reputation with most away fans yet his play acting antics on the field are certainly not going to help them. He was wrong to dive, there is no doubt about that. Yet I think it is incredibly unfair to use him as a scapegoat against an issue that has plagued the league for several years now.
Firstly Suarez is far from the first player to dive. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Didier Drogba, play-acting in the Premier League has been apparent for numerous seasons. There have been multiple quoted reasons behind such an influx of cheating, noticeably Sir Alex’s comments on the foreign influence in the game. However the cause isn’t the way to deal with this problem, especially nowadays with play-acting so widespread.
The facts are simply these. The FA and referees around the globe have to be harsher on such cheating, that is point number 1. However diving and other forms of cheating are simply another reason why technology should be introduced to the game. I am a firm believer in the introduction of goal line technology to make the referees’ jobs easier and results fairer. Yet I also think technology should be introduced for cheating in the game including diving.
Some may say that is ruins the drama of the sport, yet such suggestions are ludicrous. Diving is an issue that demonstrates why technology should be brought into the game for the sake of football.
Firstly there are several instances of players diving and winning penalties or getting other players sent off. Granted on some occasions the referees can do better jobs but they are only human. Therefore instances like this do occur. My question is, what kind of example does this set to young players growing up with the modern game? Long have gone the days where kids playing football used to be tough as they copied their heroes. Now surely young players coming through grass roots programmes will simply see cheating as a part of the game. This is not only a problem in football but in general life also in my view.
Secondly, it makes the game completely unfair. Sports are a competition where the best competitor ought to win judged on the performance on the day. However if cheating is incorporated into the sport, it completely jeopardizes its integrity. Although it might make for exciting watching, incidents like Suarez at the weekend are rapidly destroying the image of football.
Finally diving is something that will simply stick as a player. In the last few weeks Luis Suarez has in fact had a couple of decent penalty shouts not given to him. Why do you ask? Because of his reputation. Referees subconsciously will see the Uruguayan, and other players with similar reputations, on the floor and immediately think they have gone down too easily. Bringing in technology would once again aid referees into missing such calls yet also give them the chance to properly reprimand players who are cheating.
Suarez’ incident on Sunday was sad to see, yet it appears that more and more people are acting as if this was the first time diving had occurred in a football match. Everyone knows this is a problem that desperately needs addressing. Hopefully what happened at Anfield on Sunday might just spur on a response.