Most of the players that hit the deck claiming injury are usually back on their feet and fit enough to complete the match within seconds. That’s what I used to think. A new study revealed that the figure is over 90%. Nothing to surprising indeed.
Looking at a sample of ten English Premier League games and the 2010 World Cup final, the study reveals just how widespread simulation, moaning at the referee and dissent are in the modern game.
Some of the interesting points are:
- Averaging eight dives per game, over 25% of footballers who fall to the ground are theatrically diving.
- Only one in ten players who remained on the ground claiming injury were later substituted as a result. One.
- In the World Cup final between Spain and Netherlands, on 15 occasions players stayed down with injury but ‘managed’ to continue wasting five minutes of the regulation time.
- The average time of a player spent whining to/about the referee during the game is 52 seconds per game. The World Cup final witnessed 1 minute and 31 seconds of this behavior.
- Last season, in the Premier League, 168 yellow cards were shown for dissent, simulation and swearing. Birmingham City were ahead of all in this category with 16, followed by Portsmouth at 14, Aston Villa at 12 and Hull at 11.
- Dishing out by most yellow cards for theatrics by far is referee Alan Bennett.
- Individually, Birmingham City defender Roger Johnson topped with four yellow cards, followed by a host of players with three including Ashley Young, Emmanuel Eboue and Ricardo Fuller.
What does that tell you?
The modern day footballers are sensitive, prone to unnecessarily writhing in agony, diving, whining and petulance. Some time ago, there was the word of showing a third card to the player for diving which will make him sit out the next five or ten minutes of the game. It is high time we introduced that into the game (alongside video technology, some would say).