Diving has ruined football for me

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Ash Young
Ashley Young has a reputation as a diver

Going to the freezer to get some ice and seeing the ice-trays are empty really irritates me. Listening to people say “It’s only a game” when the Proteas get knocked out the World Cup, frustrates me. There’s a third thing that is slowly entering my list of things I can’t stand – watching football. Granted, it’s actually number one on my favourite things to do in life, but watching the Chelsea v Manchester United last week – I almost turned off the TV on a few occasions! When did diving become acceptable in football? Watching Drogba hit the deck every few minutes is enough to make me dive…. off a cliff.

Seriously, I know we all know that it’s in the game – but when did everyone just accept it? It’s absolutely pathetic! When I’m watching a game and I see a player hit the ground, I get the same rage as when a taxi cuts me off in traffic. Even when a player gets kicked or slightly knocked, why can’t they try to stay on their feet?

Robben belongs in a pool

I often think what would happen on a Saturday, if a player in one of the sides we play in, as in the local clubs like Durbanville, Camps Bay etc had to roll around after taking a slight knock. The opposition, the crowd and even your own players would burst into laughter. They’d probably just carry on playing and the referee may even laugh at you. So why in the professional game – has it become acceptable?

Another area of the game that grates me is when players come face to face in an argument and one pushes the other in the face. The player that’s been pushed falls over, clutching his face and rolling on the floor as if someone’s just thrown acid in his face. Now if these players are in a club or walking on the streets, and someone touches them – will they dirty the designer shoes and clothes by falling over and roll in the dirty gutter clutching their face? No. So why is it necessary to do it on the field?


I often hear people saying things like “well he raised his hand to the player and you can’t do that” or “there was contact, so he’s got to see a red card”. WHY???? I’m getting rage just writing this. So what if there’s contact, football is a contact sport. Remember the epic days of Keane and Viera – those huge crunching tackles that saw a yellow card. Two players going hard at each other, if the player fell, he got up quickly because he didn’t want the opposition to think he was hurt or intimidated. Football is the beautiful game and modern day theatrics is ruining the sport I love.

I could never be a referee. If I was, we would probably end with a 2 v 2 match, because five players would be sent off for running up to me swearing, whilst the rest would be sent off for diving. So what’s the solution? I don’t see why the referee’s can’t just go “all in” for a few months. Don’t make it a slow process. End a few games with 7 v 7 and the game will change very quickly. When a player gets tackled and rolls around, fine – give the free kick, if he then gets up and plays straight away, book him!

Yes, this is an outrageous solution, I think so too. But is it more outrageous than what football has become? Why not introduce a rule whereby, if a player goes down and stays down, he needs to stay on the side of the field for five minutes before returning? Let’s see how many players stay down then.

I’d love to hear some ideas on this and some solutions from you guys, because surely I’m not the only one who hates watching grown men acting like new born babies four times a week.

Enough now!

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