Adams joins calls to stamp out diving - News & Comment - Football - The Independent

Adams joins calls to stamp out diving

Tony Adams has added his voice to the clamour for technology to be used to clamp down on the cheats and divers in the game.

The former England captain, who is assistant to the Portsmouth manager, Harry Redknapp, was on the touchline on Sunday when Tottenham's Didier Zokora earned a penalty by throwing himself to the ground inside the area.

Television replays showed Pedro Mendes had made no contact with the midfielder, but referee Chris Foy gave the spot-kick, which Jermain Defoe dispatched to put Spurs 2-0 up.

Following his side's eventual 2-1 defeat, Redknapp branded the decision "farcical", and the former Arsenal centre-half Adams has now called for retrospective punishments to be handed out to those players found guilty of cheating.

"I'm in favour of technology," Adams said. "We had TV cameras right behind our dug-out, and the fourth official was sort of apologising to us before Defoe took the penalty.

"If they can do that, before he's even taken the kick, surely they can transmit it to the referee, who to be fair needs the help.

"I'd like the fourth official to be able to say to the ref, 'Actually, that's not a penalty, free-kick to Portsmouth, dive, yellow card'. The technology is there.

"I know the FA are worried about the grass roots of the game, but playing in the park on a Sunday is very different to the Premiership, when thousands of people's jobs are at stake."

Adams insists the problem was not as prevalent back in his Gunners heyday, and feels defenders need to have some nous of their own to ensure the divers do not have it all their own way.

"The game didn't need it a few years ago," said the 39-year-old. "There were maybe only one or two players who used to try to get free-kicks and penalties like that. You had to be a clever defender to stay on your feet. It's a talent, not diving in, sticking your foot out. We need to teach our defenders correctly.

"But there are guys out there now who are looking to get penalties by going over very easily, so it's in our game now and we've got to stamp it out in some way."

Adams also feels the players themselves have a responsibility to play the game in accordance with what he feels is the English sense of fair play.

"It's in many ways a cultural difference. We English frown upon it, but in the Italian and Spanish leagues it's seen as an art form," he said. "So I don't think you will eradicate it, but you can help by not letting them get away with it. You'd have to change the players' mentality, and to do that they'd have to play in England for 20 years.

"I love the Premiership, the pace, energy, physical contact. Good forwards should adapt to it. The good players will survive, and if players continue to dive it needs to be self-policing."

The Tottenham head coach, Martin Jol, insists that the majority of White Hart Lane fans now respect Sol Campbell, despite the constant abuse suffered by the former Spurs captain more than five years after he left for arch-rivals Arsenal.

When Campbell made his first return to Tottenham with Arsenal in 2001, he endured a raft of obscene chants, having signed for the Gunners after nine seasons with Spurs.

Campbell, 32, went back again with Portsmouth on Sunday but was booed and jeered throughout - and the chants were just as obscene.

However, Jol, who greeted Campbell with a firm handshake and a hug after the game, said: "I'm not somebody who can make the world better. Everybody can make their own decisions and we should leave it in the past.

"But I think he is one of the best defenders of the last 15 years and everybody respects him. I even think our crowd respects him."

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