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FA examine retrospective diving ban

London (AFP) – Players in English football found guilty of diving could face retrospective bans from the Football Association, The Times newspaper reported Tuesday.

In neighbouring Scotland, players can receive a two-match ban if they are found to have won a significant advantage for their team by tricking the referee by diving or simulation.

If the referee or match officials did not spot the diving at the time of the incident, offending players can still be punished by video replay and then banned.

The Times reported the FA are set to send a delegation to Scotland to study the rule.

“On the face of it it’s a good idea,” an ‘FA insider’ told The Times. “The devil is in the detail, but as a tool to penalise blatant simulation versus ‘did he dive or slip?’ it is now being investigated. It is being discussed with the SFA (Scottish Football Association) and some FA people are going up to Scotland for a meeting on how it is working.”

One of the most controversial issues in football, the vexed question of whether players are trying to deceive their opponents into conceding free-kicks and penalties came to the fore again during Sunday’s draw between arch-rivals  Manchester United and Liverpool.

Opposing managers Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp clashed after United’s Ander Herrera went down clutching his face when he appeared to be shoved in the chest by Roberto Firmino.

Last month, Hull’s Robert Snodgrass admitted there had been no contact from Scott Dann when he won a penalty against Crystal Palace. 

The SFA’s rule on diving, in operation since 2011, makes it an offence for a player to mislead a match official to gain a substantial advantage.

SFA chief Stewart Regan told The Times: “Having that rule there is helping the game and reducing the acts of simulation, which we know are frustrating for fans and players, and can be game-changing.”

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