Wenger backs new system for punishing divers

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Back in May it was announced that a new system to retrospectively punish diving and other forms of cheating would be introduced from the 2017-18 season onward.

That could see players who deliberately cheat banned for up to two games, with decisions made by a panel of experts.

It’s a step forward, and it’s something that pleases Arsene Wenger as we head into the new campaign.

“I’m a big fan because you want to get the cheating out of the game as much as you can and I would say you have to respect for the fans who pay money,” he said.

“They come to watch football, not people who dive. They want to see the game. We demand a lot of money from our fans now so we want to make the game as clean and fluent as possible.”

As for the implementation, the Arsenal manager’s comments illustrate how there may well be some teething problems.

It has to be completely obvious,” he said, “and that will be down to panel, because sometimes a guy touches your leg, you have to fall down, but you make more of it.

“To make more of it is a bit playing with the rules that is normal and part of the player. To dive when nobody touches you, you have to get that out of the game.”

The people tasked with reviewing the incidents were announced this week. They are former players/managers: Nigel Adkins, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Terry Butcher, Lee Dixon, Alex McLeish, Danny Murphy, Chris Powell and Trevor Sinclair, while Keren Barratt, Steve Dunn, Mike Mullarkey, Alan Wiley and Eddie Wolstenhome are former referees/officials.

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