Sepp Blatter: Fifa president wants time penalty for diving in football

Sepp Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has proposed the use of a time penalty as a deterrent to diving in football.

Blatter feels players who get treatment but are not badly injured should have to wait longer before rejoining play.

"I find it deeply irritating, when the half-dead player comes back to life as soon as they have left the pitch," said Blatter, 77, in a weekly Fifa column.

"The referee can make the player wait until the numerical disadvantage has had an effect on the game."

Blatter, the head of world football's governing body, added: "In practical terms, this is a time penalty and it could cause play-actors to rethink.

"The touchline appears to have acquired powers of revival which even leading medical specialists cannot explain."

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher agrees simulation is an issue in the game, but feels penalising players in Blatter's proposed way may not be feasible.

"You're going to need a very, very brave referee to say a players wasn't really injured, I'm not sure it's a real solution," said Gallagher.

Blatter's comments come two days after Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho criticised one of his own players, Oscar, for diving in their victory at Southampton.

Mourinho also urged referees to "kill the situation" after his Brazilian attacker was cautioned for appearing to dive in the the area after rounding Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.

Blatter is intent on ridding the game of simulation, which has prompted 13 yellow cards in the Premier League this season.

"Even though simulation is incredibly unfair and looks preposterous when viewed in a replay, some people regard it as smart or in the worst case as a harmless misdemeanour," added Blatter, who has been re-elected three times since becoming Fifa president in 1998.

"The longest breaks in the game nowadays are almost exclusively the result of dives, simulation and play-acting to feign injury.

"This kind of thing is treated with scorn in other sporting disciplines but it has become a normal and accepted part of football nowadays."

Manchester United attacker Adnan Januzaj, 18, has received three of his five yellow cards this season for simulation.

United fanzine Red Issue, via its Twitter account, called on manager David Moyes to speak to the youngster as well as Ashley Young, who has been booked for diving this season.

Fifa's vice-president Jim Boyce has previously proposed the use of video evidence to help take retrospective action against divers, a move which Gallagher would still welcome.

"I think most people in this country would adhere to retrospective action," added Gallagher, who was a Fifa listed referee for eight years.

"For me, I think an ex-referee, an ex-manager and an ex-member of PFA could look at video evidence and if all three agree on a dive, it's a three match ban."

As part of his proposals to clamp down on cheating within the game, Blatter emphasised Fifa's stance on whether the ball should be put out of play if a player is injured.

"The ball is in the referees' court," added Blatter.

"The instructions are now clear on this matter: if a player is lying on the floor, the opposing team are not required to put the ball into touch.

"The referee should only intervene if he believes a serious injury has occurred."

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