FA’s crackdown on cheats comes into play
LONDON: A new era in English soccer begins on Friday with a crackdown on players who cheat referees by diving to win a penalty or get an opponent sent off.
The Championship games between Sunderland and Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Millwall will be the first in which players can be retrospectively punished with twomatch bans if found guilty in a trial by video.
Diving for penalties has been a growing problem in the English game. Most clubs in the top two divisions were accused of it at some point last season, with Marcus Rashford of Manchester United, Leroy Sane of Manchester City and Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur coming under the spotlight on a single weekend.
The crackdown, announced in May, is aimed at players who go unpunished during the match for actions that have a significant bearing on it. The Football Association will be able to charge them with “successful deception of a match official”.
Its implementation follows a year of feedback from players and officials. A three-person panel consisting of an explayer, an ex-manager and an ex-referee will sit in judgement. All three must agree there is a “clear and overwhelming case” for a charge to be brought.
If the player accepts a charge he will be given an immediate two-match ban. If not, the case will go before an FA independent regulatory commission.
Players proven to be the innocent victims of cheating will have red cards, although not yellow ones, rescinded.
The crackdown is an extension of the FA’s “not seen” measure, which led to retrospective bans for Tyron Mings and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for clashes that were not picked up by officials. – Reuters