David Luiz vs. Atletico

No matter how you fall in the “diving in football” argument, it has definitely become a commonplace concept in the game. Clips are circulating of Luis Suarez‘s “quick healing” against Norwich, Ashley Young will never be truly taken seriously, and most La Liga games seem to be reminiscent of a recreational swim meet as players grab for their ankle and shin quicker than most wild west gunslingers could snag their 6-shooter. However, refs are starting to be less and less convinced by any extreme acting on the floor and we are seeing legitimate fouls actually be missed because of the ref’s fear of giving a non-existent foul. So, David Luiz has shown us the future of diving and where players will start getting refs to give fouls again…

First, Luiz was fouled in this situation by Diego. However, there is no way that Luiz should have responded in the way that he did by dropping to the pitch as if felled by Paul Bunyan. It was a light knock and there was barely shoulder to shoulder contact. Where Luiz showed the future of diving is in how he hit the deck and how he stayed there. As a legitimate fear that I have discussed with other footy bloggers, Luiz made it seem like he had sustained a head injury that could have knocked him out. Instead of the crazy writhing and screaming out in pain, the Chelsea man looked as if he was unconscious. With the increased importance that every sport, including world football, has placed on head injuries, this method scares me more than any other type of diving.

If players start learning that going limp and dropping to the pitch in a similar move to if they were truly knocked unconscious, then things will get very dicey. Refs will have to take notice and the typical head-injury precautions will HAVE to be heeded. Considering the natural concern that any human feels when we see this type of fall, the ref is definitely going to lean towards giving the player the desired call. Plus, if their teammates truly think that their compatriot has just been given a knock that serious, the crowd around the match official will only increase in number and in intensity. So, by adapting the style of diving more towards this, players will start to con officials again and might, if this type of diving becomes prevalent, end up seeing officials and players not give actual head injuries the gravity that it requires.

If this does not scare you, then you need to start the article over and read it again. If players begin to take too much advantage of the protection of the brain that every sport is currently embracing, then this could become a massive problem. Take it from someone that has seen players crash and moan to the surface after minimal contact and someone that has seen someone go limp in mid-air and stay motionless on the pitch, every person that is within viewing distance becomes concerned and immediately sides with the newly prostrate player instead of the complaining and loathing that the typical “dive” brings about. This is a major concern…

 

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