FA’s crack­down on cheats comes into play

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

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

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