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Diving ambitions

Diving ambitions

The following article was wrote last week while the system was down and was appropriate at the time!

I, like any Pompey fan, now rate Zokora as much of a diver as Robert Pires, when his prima ballerina antics cost Portsmouth two valuable points at Highbury. I live with a die-hard Tottenham fan, who flat out refuses to concede that Zokora dived, maintaining Martin Jol`s pathetic excuse of 'he lost his balance`. (I don`t think I`ve ever lost my balance so hard that my legs and arms flew up in the air like I`ve been shot, but hey, who am I to judge?)

The resistance of nearly all Tottenham fans to acknowledge they have a cheater in their midst made me absolutely furious, until I actually sat down and thought about it. Would I really ever turn on a Portsmouth player if he 'fell` in the penalty box, especially in such a blatant manner? Part of me wants to say yes, that Pompey are a good and noble team lost in a sea of teams winning by hook or by crook. I imagine a lot of other Pompey fans like to believe the same.

But think of it this way. If Kanu fell in the penalty area, and you saw that he had literally thrown himself to the floor, and the referee called you out to stand in the centre circle, to decide in front a of 20,000 fans, would you say that he dived? Of course not. Which fan in their right mind would give up the chance of a goal (especially a pivotal one) just so they can maintain the moral high ground?

I truly believe that the Pompey squad is devoid of any 'proper` divers (the likes of *cough*Robben*cough* spring to mind), and that`s definitely something to be proud of. Some players, such as Thierry Henry might fall a bit too easily sometimes, but his skill precedes him, and often the decision is given his way. But the difference is he doesn`t look for the dive in the way that some teams do.

So there isn`t a short term answer, or really an effective long term answer. The only options are to start using video evidence, which is a much debated topic, or for referees to start brandishing the yellow cards with almost militant ferocity, so anyone even suspected of diving will think twice. Unfortunately, video evidence could destroy the flow of the game as we know it, and yellow carding everyone means that a lot of legitimate fouls will go unpunished.

So next time a player dives against Pompey (and they will) remember: football is football, and diving has (unfortunately) become a part of the beautiful game. Hopefully one day the rough English tackler will flourish again, and the dainty European footballers will know what a proper tackle is, rather than acting like they`ve been shot in the penalty area.

By Gareth

He will be writing two articles a week, one on a Monday with his view on Saturday`s match and the other on a Thursday, of a topic of the reader`s choice. If you have any suggestions of an article topic you want to see, email them to editor@portsmouth.vitalfootball.co.uk

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 16 2006

Time: 9:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Diving is something i hate most in football. I cant stand it even if it is a player at Forest!
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16/10/2006 20:14:00

There's nothing more embarrassing to the game than diving. They definitely should have instant replays to catch the offenders and suspend them to set an example, and fine them a few quid to boot. The biggest knock on the game out here in N.America is the "ballerina" factor and while I couldn't really give a rat's a** whether a professional league of any worth ever does blossom out here, I cringe every time I hear some U.S. broadcaster infer that football players are " soft " because they dive like professional dancers and roll around in agony until they get a whistle. Problem is, too many of the Eurocrats that run FIFA seem to come from countries who benefit most from the " artsy " side of the game.
Report Abuse
16/10/2006 21:37:00

jono again. What the hell do we need your opinion for? Ps. Good article. The Z man will get what's due to him somewhere down the line, as will Spurs.
Report Abuse
16/10/2006 22:37:00

if someone goes down like they've been shot, shoot the cheating git!
Report Abuse
16/10/2006 22:54:00

I disagree with you 100% gareth. I 4-1 would (and have done) tell ANY pompey player to his face what i thought of him if he cheated like zakora did. I have also spoken to a fair few spurs supporters and they take the same view as me.
Report Abuse
17/10/2006 03:24:00

these results will even them out over the course of the season , until technology is brought in to stop it (which I reckon it will before long!) we just have to take the rough with the smooth
Report Abuse
17/10/2006 08:09:00

Diving by any player, regardless of which team they play for is totally unacceptable. It's time for the FA to stamp this out once and for all. They can use TV replays even after the match has finished and punish offenders with long suspensions and loss of wages for the time they are suspended. Then there may be a chance of driving the cheats out. It's hard enough these days to make a tackle with referees all too quick to blow the whistle combine that with diving players and you might just as well tell defenders not to make a challenge at all.
Steve C
Report Abuse
17/10/2006 15:15:00

We need to give the cupid stunt a torrid time when he gets to play here.
Report Abuse
17/10/2006 17:34:00

you lost to a much better side with much better players. Get over it please you're embarrasing.
Report Abuse
17/10/2006 18:24:00

I'd also be appauled and even embarressed if a Pompey player cheated, especially if it won us a crucial game. I would NEVER defend him...
Report Abuse
17/10/2006 21:26:00

Diving should be punished. Players are named and shamed after the event for a reckless challenge, flailing elbow etc. (Ben Thatcher is the prime example) so why can't CHEATERS by branded, and punished as such??? Video evidence used to convict them, and ban them and they'll soon stop. A fine will not help, water off a ducks back, suspension, being out of the team having to get back in will hurt...
Report Abuse
17/10/2006 21:26:00

Combining a long suspension with loss of wages for the time they are suspended would hurt even more. Give them a 10 match ban minimum even if they are on 30,000 a match a loss of 300,000 pounds upwards would hurt anyone.
Steve C
Report Abuse
18/10/2006 13:22:00

The Chinese are fast becoming the best divers - watch them at Bejing - in the pool silly...lol
Report Abuse
19/10/2006 07:55:00


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