The FA, at long last, are to introduce retrospective punishment for players who dive or feign injury by reviewing incidents post-game and enforcing punishments.
In a statement released on their website, they say:
A new offence of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’ will be in force from the start of the 2017-18 season, after the regulation change was approved by The FA Council today [18 May] and following a period of consultation with stakeholders over the past few months.
Where there is clear and overwhelming evidence to suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation, and as a direct result, the offending player’s team has been awarded a penalty and/or an opposing player has been dismissed, The FA will be able to act retrospectively under its Fast Track system.
The incidents will be reviewed by a three man panel consisting of an ex-referee, an ex-manager and an ex-player, and if found unanimously guilty, the player will face a two game ban.
In accepted and/or proven cases of simulation and/or feigning injury, the offending player would receive a two-match suspension.
Although attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled is a cautionable offence for unsporting behaviour, the fact that the act of simulation has succeeded in deceiving a match official and, therefore, led to a penalty and/or dismissal, justifies a more severe penalty which would act as a deterrent.
This also allows players who have been booked or sent off for what was deemed a foul in ‘real time’ to have those cards rescinded.
It’s certainly going to be an interesting few months as players get used to the new system, but anything that becomes a deterrent to the kind of gamesmanship we have to put up with now is to be applauded.
There are bound to be some high profile casualties along the way until players get used to it, which should make for some fun footage.
Thankfully at Arsenal all our players are fine gentlemen who uphold the highest standards of comportment and would never behave in the outrageous manner we see from the blaggards, oiks and ruffians at other clubs. So we should be perfectly all right.