Ronny Lopes – Contributing Editor

The Times reported that the FA is actively pursuing the creation of a new rule to retroactively punish players who dive.

One FA insider said: “On the face of it it’s a good idea. 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 and some FA people are going up to Scotland for a meeting on how it is working.”

Members of the FA will be going to Scotland on a fact finding mission to study the Scottish FA’s rule 201, which stipulates a two match ban for a player found guilty of winning an advantage for their team by tricking the referee by diving. Players who dive and are not punished by the referee are identified by way of instant replay and banned. The Scottish FA has had rule 201 in place since 2011. The rule states:

No player shall cause a match official to make an incorrect decision and/or support an error of judgment on the part of a match official by an act of simulation which results in that player’s team being awarded a penalty kick and/or an opponent being dismissed and/or any other substantial advantage being gained.

The Scottish FA’s Chief executive Stewart Regan says: “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.”