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SBD Global/May 19, 2017/International Football

FA To Introduce Two-Match Retrospective Diving Bans Next Season

Players who win penalties by diving or have opponents sent off by simulating a foul "will face two-match retrospective bans from next season" after the FA agreed to introduce a new rule, according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. The regulation is called "successful deception of a match official" and will involve a three-man panel ruling on "whether players cheated to win a significant advantage." The FA has been "given the go-ahead" after receiving backing from the League Managers Association, Professional Footballers' Association, Premier League and Football League, as well as the referees. Unlike in Scotland, however, players will not be able to appeal to the panel to overturn a booking given by a referee for simulation -- something that "infuriated" Premier League side Crystal Palace Manager Sam Allardyce, who called the new rule "utter rubbish" (LONDON TIMES, 5/18). In London, Ben Rumsby reported the process will be "similar to the one used now for violent conduct unseen by the match officials but caught on camera," which sees footage reviewed independently by three ex-elite match officials. The FA "previously resisted retrospectively punishing simulation but was won over by the success of a Scottish FA scheme to eradicate it following a fact-finding trip" earlier this year. EPL side Burnley Manager Sean Dyche claimed last year that such action would see simulation eradicated from football "in six months" following two incidents in Premier League matches (TELEGRAPH, 5/18). The IRISH INDEPENDENT reported Allardyce "rubbished" the FA's decision and said that "judgements concerning simulation should be made on the pitch using video technology." He added, "It's utter rubbish because what about the lad that gets booked that didn't dive? What are they going to do with that? They're going to say, 'Oh well that's unlucky' or 'Next time we'll try and get that right,' so the lad that dived gets punished but then the lad that gets punished when he didn't dive ... they're going to have to reverse that somehow" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 5/18).

FA REFORMS: In London, Marcus Christenson reported with England and Scotland having permanent seats on the Int'l FA Board, FIFA's law-making body, bans for divers "could soon become a worldwide policy." The FA also agreed to implement the "most radical reforms to how it is run in decades." Championed by FA Chair Greg Clarke, the reforms mean the governing body "will now meet the new governance code" introduced by U.K. Sports Minister Tracey Crouch. This will enable the FA to "continue to receive public funding for grassroots projects and bidding for events, as well as answering critics who doubted its ability to modernise itself." Already unanimously backed by the board and council, the reforms "cleared the final hurdle of receiving the support from 75% of the FA's 1,100 shareholders and will come into force" on July 27 (GUARDIAN, 5/18).
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