Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: At last, FIFA allowing ‘divers’ to be punished

As someone ever ready to put a hefty boot into FIFA, it’s only right that occasionally I should pause and instead praise them.

The governing body will no longer stand in the way of national associations using video evidence to ban players for diving: simulation, whatever you want to call it.

Hurrah ... and about time too.

A couple of years ago the Scottish FA was prevented from introducing retrospective punishment because, it seemed, such action wasn’t permissible under FIFA regulations.

But now, in contrast, the Australian Football Federation is being allowed to enforce the suspension of two players who dived to win penalties.

FIFA’s updated view is that individual associations should have the freedom to act within their own disciplinary rules.

Australia, fed up with such cheating — aren’t we all? — can deal with the culprits without looking over their shoulders.

This is a welcome breakthrough and the logical next step would see FIFA and UEFA impose such sanctions on players that so disfigure major tournaments.

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