London: Fifa president Sepp Blatter has warned players who dive that they are failing as role models and has called on referees to use the full force of the law to punish simulation.
Referees can already caution players for diving — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho backed the decision to book his midfielder Oscar against Southampton on Wednesday and called on other officials to follow suit and “kill this situation”.
Blatter said he finds diving for free-kicks and penalties or feigning injury “deeply irritating” and pointed out match officials have other powers available to them. In his column in Fifa Weekly, to be published on Friday, Blatter said: “Cutting out this kind of cheating is a matter of respect towards opponents and fans, and ultimately one of self-respect as a professional and role model.
“When a ‘stricken’ player seeks to return to the field of play immediately after being taken off, the referee can make the player wait until the numerical disadvantage has had an effect on the game. In practical terms this amounts to a time penalty — and it could cause play-actors to rethink.”