With the Olympic Games coming to London in just over 90 days, you’d expect young Tom Daley to be hard at work perfecting his pikes and tightening his tucks. However Tom has reason to worry. His Olympic dream could be under threat, as Team GB has a selection headache thanks to the diving and theatrics of Premier League ‘stars’.
First up is Ashley Young. The dynamic, talented winger has blotted his copy book in recent weeks with two spectacular dives against QPR and Aston Villa. Now let’s get one thing straight – there was contact against Villa. However Young went looking for it, he moved towards the defender when there was no need at all to cause a fall. The dive against QPR was just embarrassing. Young was a good foot away from the defender at the time of ‘contact’, and the manner in which he went down was akin to someone who had just been shot.
Second to stake his claim is Didier Drogba. This is a man who is safely 14/15 stone of muscle and around 6ft 2 in height. He should be one of the strongest men in the game, yet he goes down under the faintest of breezes. His behaviour in Chelsea’s first Champions League clash with Barcelona was nothing short of a joke. I know Chelsea fans will claim that Barca players do exactly the same, but didn’t your mother teach you two wrongs don’t make a right?
Finally there is Gareth Bale. A player who recently claimed he dives to prevent injuries. Has he forgotten it’s a contact sport? Diving is cheating. It is clearly defined in the rules of the game that simulation of a foul is a yellow card. In that case Bale would be suspended for most of the season. Yes sometimes tackles are hard, yes sometimes they sting, but let’s be honest; being paid thousands of pounds a week to take a blow every now and then is hardly difficult is it?
A rule needs to be brought in where dives can be punished retrospectively as it is almost impossible in many cases to tell the difference between contact and simulation. This would soon stop the antics of the Premier League performers who face turning our game into a farce.