English football is introducing retrospective bans of at least two matches for players who deceive referees by diving to win a penalty or get an opponent sent off.
The new rule wasn’t met with overwhelming support, however, as Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce called it “utter rubbish.”
The new offence of “successful deception of a match official” is based on a law already used in Scotland. The measure was approved at the Football Association’s annual general meeting on Thursday, and means video footage will be reviewed by a panel in cases where simulation is suspected.
Incidents will be reviewed by a panel comprised of an ex-manager, ex-player and an ex-referee, who will watch the footage independently. If they are unanimous in believing a player deceived a match official, that player will be hit by a two-game suspension.
A statement on the official FA website said: “This process would be similar to the one used now for a red card offence (violent conduct/serious foul play/spitting at an opponent) which was not seen at the time by the match officials but caught on camera.
“In this situation, three ex-elite match officials review all the available video footage independently of one another and then advise the FA as to whether they believe it was an offence worthy of instant dismissal.
“In accepted and/or proven cases of simulation and/or feigning injury, the offending player would receive a two-match suspension.
“Although attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled is a cautionable offence for unsporting behaviour, the fact that the act of simulation has succeeded in deceiving a match official and, therefore, led to a penalty and/or dismissal, justifies a more severe penalty which would act as a deterrent.”
Reports earlier this week said the English Football League, League Managers Association, Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association supported the plan, which needed their backing.
But Allardyce was less in favour, and suggested technology should be implemented to get the call right during the game.
“Well it is utter rubbish because what about the lad that gets booked that didn’t dive?,” Allardyce said. “What are you going to do with that? Are they going to say, ‘Oh that is unlucky, next time we will try and get that right?’
“So the lad that dives gets punished. But the lad that gets punished by the referee when he didn’t dive — you are going to have to reverse that somehow.”
He added : “Bring technology in and we can look at it on the day. Then bring a sin bin in so we can put him in the sin bin for 10 minutes and then put him back on.