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Simulation stinging the game?

South American players have long be derided – rightly or wrongly – of seeking to win free kicks through simulation or exaggeration. The thirty-six years since the last world cup held in South American, “diving” has spread through out the world and no team is just a victim of the crime.

However, people like stereotypes because they easy to explain, and thus it was suggested that we were truly at a South American world when Fred’s legs were taken out from beneath him by Dejan Lovren touching his shoulders. There is no doubt in my mind that a free kick should have been awarded, to Croatia and that Fred should have been booked for simulation. With Oscar scoring late on in the game it’s been argued that the result was deserved anyway, however the psych of the game changed after that penalty, as it seemed the referee did not want to call out home side for their unethical antics.

Spain have built a reputation for their passing play, whilst also constructing one for their synchronised simulation. Diego Costa’s poor attempt at looking impeded was only just shaded by Fred’s antics, the result was the same nonetheless. Thankfully Spain got exactly what they deserved as the Dutch ran five past them, all from direct play.

It is not just the penalties being awarded for similar criteria that one wins an Oscar for, as of the ten games so far only three sides have committed more fouls and won the game.

Tim Cahill was on the other end of the cheating spectrum, as the Chileans fouled him without earning the ire of the referee. David Gallop wrote a column about it, whilst Cahill told the media “In the first-half, there was an incident where the left-back elbowed me and kicked out at me when I was trying to run past him for a cross, and I’ve got the yellow card,” he said. “I called him a cheat and he said “Yes, I’m a cheat, so what?”

Mark Milligan also earned a yellow for seemingly recreating the Hamish and Andy ‘Ghosting’ skit behind Alexis Sanchez. With Milligan following close behind, Sanchez hit the ground harder than necessary, Milligan was bewildered by the yellow card as if he’d be invited to a party not realising it was a dress up party.

His Australian team mates were called out by the referee for seemingly being too close to their opponent and it was not long after the final whistle that the Australian media began to shape the narrative that Chile’s win was at least unethical.

This is too not say Australian’s do not dive, it just seems that their opponents are better at it.

France routed Honduras three – nil this morning with the help of a penalty, an own goal and a Palacios red card. Whilst Palacious certainly did go in to Pogba’s back, he didn’t jump and the replay shows Pogba making the most out of it.

The World Cup has a diving culture, people will claim that Pogba was still fouled so it should be a penalty anyway, however he didn’t have to poorly exaggerate the fall. – Or did he?

For the most part, it is very difficult for the referee to call the legitimacy of a foul, especially when an assistant insists that it was a foul. Most players have become very good at identifying when a defender puts himself into a position where he could commit a foul.

When Besart Berisha was knocked over in the Perth Glory box by the weight of his own will power, many commentators said whilst Jacob Burns didn’t touch him, he shouldn’t have been going to ground in the box anyway. Similarly, Dejan Lovren was chastised for having his hands ‘on’ Fred. This is a poor argument – just because I own a knife doesn’t mean I cut up my dinner guests, similarly just because I have a twitter account doesn’t mean that I’m witty and despite owning bright football boots I still have the first touch of a 4×4 Off Road Environment Thrashing Prado.

There is a fairly simple solution to this negatory ordeal that seems to win most of the headlines. The A League has less simulation than the Premier League in what could be a cultural difference, or could be the strict Retrospective Bans for Simulation that was introduced in 2009.

If FIFA granted itself the power to sanction players after the game, it will go someway towards ending the culture of deceit and deception. Imagine if Diego Costa was banned for the next two games ruling him out of the group stage, or similary Brazil lost their only out and out striker for the next couple of games. It would make players be less inclined to dive or make the most out of free kicks. With the world cup being the most significant football tournament, it is understandable that players attempt the gain an edge over their opponents, that doesn’t make it right or ethical however.

However FIFA will more than likely look to airbrush this controversy and ignore it, but they may accidentally bring down Neymar if the that brush stroke is too thick.

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