Les Ferdinand: Video evidence and tough bans needed to stamp out diving

The former striker believes retrospective punishments would send out a “real message” as it would deter players from play-acting and would quickly eradicate the issue

Former Newcastle and Tottenham forward Les Ferdinand has insisted that plans to review video footage and issue strong bans would “eradicate” diving from the Premier League.

The Football Association are currently discussing the option of using video replays to retrospectively punish players after matches, something that could come into force next season.

The 46-year-old believes that the introduction of such initiatives would be a successful way of combating the “ugly” problem that has become a big talking point in football.

“If you ban these divers for a few matches then that will soon eradicate this problem

If you ban these divers for a few matches then that will soon eradicate this problem,” he told The Sun. “It is becoming part of the game and it really needs to be a problem we are well rid of — and this would help do that.

“Let’s face it, diving is rearing its ugly head every week or so. And what we have to do is get back to when people would only go down if they were on the end of a hard tackle.”

Numerous players have been accused of diving this season but some of them, like Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, who has been booked five times for simulation, insist they are just trying to avoid injury and not win a free kick.

Spurs coach Ferdinand defended players in the Welshman’s situation, and insisted that video evidence would enable the FA to single out the “blatant” divers.

He continued: “There is one problem — that is when players are running at such pace that they need to jump out of the way to avoid serious injury.

“That’s a separate issue. So it’s about making sure retrospective action just targets the blatant dives. They are the ones we are talking about that need to get stamped out.”

The ex-England international, who is among the top-10 highest all-time Premier League scorers with 149 goals in 347 appearances, then reiterated his claim that bans would sent a strong message while quickly addressing the issue.

“What it would do is send out a real message to the divers,” he added. “It says — it doesn’t matter who you are or who you play for, you have to be banned if you’re guilty of diving.

“I believe most problems in life can be solved by tackling them head on.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *