Diving. A word that connotes different things for different football fans, some dives have created moments of euphoria to remember a life time, whilst others have caused fans to rage indignantly. Just how bad is the footballing dive?
This topic has been the source of fierce debate, many choosing to condone the dive, whilst some reports suggest that some rather daring academies in South America teach their prodigies to dive. I often think to myself of coaching in the UK – perpetual shouts of “bring him down” as a player races through on goal. This is where the inconsistency lies. Cynical fouls are often promoted in football (“taking one for the team”) but isn’t diving similar? Both are done for the benefit of the squad and both are almost insufferable when you find yourself the victim as a fan or a player.
This is surely to say that if strong sanctions are to be implemented for a footballing dive, then the same sanctions should surely be implemented for cynical fouls – where do you draw the line? Controversy and gamesmanship will always be a part of football. Whilst the dive is often looked upon with contempt, is it really that bad? Footballing rules are constantly defied so what makes diving any different..? Sure it’s unfair, frustrating, infuriating, but so is a cynical foul or time wasting. The similarity between diving, cyclical fouls, and time wasting – They’re all forms of gamesmanship. The difference – two are ignored, one is shunned by media outlets and fans. The sensationalistic views of diving are what’s created the taboo, in reality, it’s not that bad.
There are many who’d defy this article and maintain the option that diving really is egregious, however, if your beloved local team was on the verge of promotion, relegation, a win would you take the moral high ground and tell you’re fleet footed winger not to fall dramatically at the smallest etch of contact. No, you wouldn’t, and frankly nor would I. The truth is, wherever a rule lies, so does defiance.
Do you share these views? Let us know in the comments below!