The Football Association, FA are set to vote on introducing a new law that will see players banned for 2 games if they are found guilty of gaining an unfair advantage for their team by diving. Should voting results be in favour of a ban being introduced, a fast-track three-man panel of experts will be brought in to assess incidents using video footage.
The statement, posted on the FA’s official website, reads in full:
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.
A panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player will be asked to review all available video footage of the incident independently of one another and then advise The FA as to whether they believe it was an offence of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’. Only in circumstances where the panel are unanimous would The FA charge the individual concerned.
This process would be similar to the one used now for a red card offence [violent conduct/serious foul play/spitting at an opponent] which was not seen at the time by the match officials but caught on camera. In this situation, three ex-elite match officials review all the available video footage independently of one another and then advise The FA as to whether they believe it was an offence worthy of instant dismissal.
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.
Should a charge of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’ be admitted or found proven, the Independent Regulatory Commission will have the power to rescind the caution or dismissal received by the opposing player as a result of the simulation if it chooses to do so.