Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson becomes Uefa coaching ambassador - and quickly calls on managers to stop players diving

The Scot will work for European football's governing body

Sir Alex Ferguson claims it is up to managers to stop their players diving and insisted his influence at Manchester United stopped Cristiano Ronaldo and Ashley Young from persisting with play-acting.

Ferguson has been appointed as UEFA's coaching ambassador and says he will work to help young coaches develop their skills, but warned they will have to make sacrifices.

He also said the onus is on managers to take action if their players are diving, and that Real Madrid star Ronaldo and United winger Young had both taken steps to cut out simulation after he had spoken to them about it.

Ferguson told a news conference at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon: "It is an element of the game we don't like seeing.

"I have tried to address it myself with some of my players over the years. When Cristiano first joined us he had that dramatic action but he listened very carefully that you can't do that and he improved tremendously and has been an even better player because of it.

"We had an issue with Ashley Young last year or two years ago and he's tried hard to address it.

"It's up to the coaches, I think they have got to influence players that they have to be better than that.

"But it's not just in England, it's common in a lot of countries."

UEFA president Michel Platini, who appointed Ferguson, said statistics proved having an extra assistant referee behind each goalline - as happens in European competition, helped eliminate simulation.

He said: "The arrival of the extra assistant referees has removed a lot of these issues in the penalty area and we can see these in the stats from the Champions League and the other leagues that have introduced the extra assistant."

Ferguson, regarded as one of the most successful managers of all time, retired as United boss in May after winning his 13th league title with United, will be chairman of UEFA's forum of elite coaches and also a member of the technical study group for the Champions League and Euro 2016.

Ferguson added: "It is an honour and a privilege to accept this role as ambassador for UEFA.

"With the experience I have had over the years I hope I can help young coaches in particular in an industry which is becoming more difficult.

"Young coaches have to be prepared to make sacrifices and time is not a guaranteed issue in modern-day football because it has become very much a results industry.

"The best chance they have got is to prepare for it. I took my full badge when I was 24 years of age and I thought that was the best thing I did to give myself a proper chance to be able to survive in football.

"I would also tell them not to change in their philosophy but to believe in themselves and have faith in your own philosophy.

"It's also the sacrifices you have to make - ask any manager's wife exactly what sacrifice means because they are working all the time. They are at games, at training, they are coaching, but that's the sacrifice you have to make and you need to understand that when you start."

PA

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