Should FIFA Use Video to Retroactively Punish Soccer’s Divers?

Ashley Young and Kagisho DikgacoiWhat should soccer authorities do to combat the scourge of diving?

That age-old question has resurfaced, after Manchester United winger Ashley Young appeared to dive on two separate occasions during his team’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Young was cautioned for simulation (cheating, in layman’s terms) following the first instance. He won a penalty kick, which led to the game-winning goal and an opponent’s dismissal, after the second.

United manager David Moyes said he spoke with Young, presumably about not diving anymore, after the game. He also believes England’s soccer authorities should be able to retroactively discipline players who dive if the referees fail to punish them during the game, the Guardian reports.

“I have said for many years that we should have retrospective video action against diving,” Moyes said. “That would help referees no end. My views haven’t changed from when I was at Everton to when I was at Manchester United.”

Referees in England’s Premier League have been increasingly stringent about punishing divers, according to the BBC.

“Last season [2012-13], 34 yellow cards were shown for simulation in the Premier League, up 14 on the previous season’s total and the highest recorded over the previous four years,” the report says.

Moyes’ idea would advance the game toward the goal of eradicating diving. The Football Association’s (English soccer’s governing body) disciplinary panel would use video to determine whether or not a player dove in order to con the referee. It could then sanction the player with a fine, ban or both.

However, the decision isn’t the FA’s to make. FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, has sole discretion over any and all changes to the rules, according to the FA.

FIFA has already allowed the use of goal-line technology. Perhaps it will consider Moyes’ idea the next time it meets to discuss changing the laws of the game.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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