Taylor determined to tackle diving
Players union boss Gordon Taylor has warned his members that blatant diving and play-acting cannot be tolerated in the game.
A number of high-profile players have been accused of diving in recent weeks with Manchester United's Ashley Young twice the subject of attention. Young was accused of going down too easily to win a penalty in Sunday's Barclays Premier League win over Aston Villa, a week after a similar incident in a controversial defeat of QPR.
Taylor has not commented on individual incidences but did say: "When it is blatant, when players are feigning injury or holding parts of the body that weren't even touched just to try to exaggerate a contact or get an opponent booked or sent off, that is something that needs to be condemned and that can't be tolerated."
The Professional Footballers' Association chief added: "From that point of view, it is up to all authorities, including the referees and with the aid of technology, to make sure there is education and appropriate sanctions when it is blatant - when someone has tried to gain an advantage they shouldn't have done - so that the message will get through.
"It is very difficult when players are playing with so much at stake and managers' jobs are on the line - sometimes their futures depend on the next game - for them not to think to seize an advantage if they can get one.
"But I think we have got to do all we can to try to make sure the game is played in the best possible way. That sounds a little bit innocent and naive, but unless you do that you are not doing your job."
For matters that are not clear cut, Taylor can understand the difficult pressures players can be placed under.
Taylor said: "Sometimes a forward will try to keep his balance and try to keep going when contact has been made but not enough to knock him down. But then he will be asked why he didn't go down, because that would have been a penalty... You are damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Taylor is an advocate of using video reviews to take retrospective action against players who transgress, but would go further. As well as introducing technology for goal-line decisions, Taylor would also use replays during games to catch divers.
He added: "In really crucial situations, I see no reason why the referee can't hold up play for a period of time, albeit a short time, to see that justice is done."
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