Because Everybody’s Diving

Diving (or simulation –the term used by FIFA) in the context of association football is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by diving to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to appear as if a foul has been committed (from Wikipedia).

One game that win a debate on this issue was round of 16 in the world cup 2006 between Australia and Italy. Until the 90th minutes, the score was 0-0. In the eve of normal time, Fabio Grosso, Italian left wing back, penetrates to the Australian field of play. In the penalty box, he was down by what it looks like a challenge from Australian back, Lucas Neill. The referee, Luis MEDINA CANTALEJO, gave Italy penalty –later executed by Francesco Totti. And the rest was history.

Australian public was furious –calling Grosso’s diving. Renowned newspaper in our country, Indonesia, called Grosso ‘A Little Sinner from Italy’. Later after the game, Grosso admitted that he was not brought down by a challenge.

Players do this (diving) so they can receive free kicks or penalty kicks, which can provide scoring opportunities. Grosso did that. Was he wrong then? Surprisingly, no. At least that’s what the President of FIFA’s thinking. This quote said few days after the controversial game:

I think that all players — especially attacking players — they do it because you go into the 18-yard area and then you lose the ball because somebody takes it away. You are frustrated, and then in the frustration you do two things, either you try to get the ball back and then you commit a foul or you say ‘but he touched me,’and then you fall down. I think this is a normal movement and I can understand the players acting like that. But now they are at the level of the World Cup and they are the professionals, so they should think about that, but it’s in the game.

In the same interview, Blatter also admitted that he used to dive when he was a player. Like he said, it’s in the game. If it’s in the game, can we say that everybody’s dive? At least once in their live. Do you agree?

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