In the world of soccer, things such as match fixing, a World Cup in 120 degree heat, and Sepp Blatter seems to have been able to skate under the radar as the footballing world have joined together to rail against diving. Sadly, in contrast to how I typically like to exist as a writer, this article might add to the noise that already floods the blogosphere on this subject…but the volume of insanity that has risen after Suarez hit the deck against Aston Villa requires that I wade in. Brace yourselves…
Before we truly begin, let’s define what truly constitutes a dive. A dive, for me, is any act of creating a foul that is not there. This can be falling without there being any actual contact, making slight contact seem more extreme, implying that a blow has occurred to a more “important” part of the body (i.e. head), and a slew of other actions meant to fool a referee into giving a foul or some other type of advantage.
First, for anyone crying that Suarez is terrible for making the most of some slight contact from Guzan, realize this fact: every team…nay…every current player has taken a dive for an advantage at some point. Think long serving warriors like Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Xavi, or any other has never taken a dive? You are kidding yourself. It is now part of the game. Sure, some teams do possess players that seem to act a bit more than others, but there is one on your club squad as well. Finding time to bemoan Suarez while cheering on Januzaj, Oscar, Busquets, Ronaldo, Robben, or whichever player is on your favorite club? Those familiar with a dictionary would like to inform you that this is called being a “hypocrite.”
Second, these players are attempting to bring success in their job. For some of them, the game is their life. By diving, these players might help their team succeed…might get a better paycheck…might even bring more recognition to his game from a bigger club. GUESS WHAT! You have been told that the ultimate goal of your job is to help your team succeed (the ULTIMATE GOAL)…do you not attempt pursue every avenue? OF COURSE YOU DO!
One of my favorite sites decided to make a worthwhile statement on this – Dirty Tackle Takes on Diving
And what Brooks Peck says on the Dirty Tackle article is spot on. If you, as a fan base, continue to cheer your player when he wins you a free-kick instead of every fan creating a terrible atmosphere for any aspect of the game that is viewed as cheating then the players will continue to dive. We have seen what giving more power to the footballing powers like UEFA and FIFA can do and allowing them to start reviewing dives would probably do more harm than good. The fan-base will have to be the way that this is fixed in the game.
So, for the last time, either treat every player diving on every team with the same disdain…or start embracing the fact that this is now part of the game. The act of diving is here…whether we all like it or not…