Sepp Blatter gets support for his criticism of players diving from Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Pellegrini admits that players are constantly 'cheating' and making it difficult for referees

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that players are constantly trying to cheat.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has blasted players for diving and feigning injury and now Pellegrini has backed referees.

He said: "I think it is very difficult to be a referee. The players play too quickly, the players are always trying to cheat because football is cheating.

"I think it is very difficult and I respect them (referees). Of course nobody likes it when the referee whistles against your team when it is wrong, but a lot of time he whistles and gives you an advantage that maybe you didn't have."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said there should be communal effort to help eradicate diving from the game.

Martinez said: "I always felt extremely proud of the British game compared to other leagues around Europe in that we haven't got it in our culture.

"But unfortunately it has been happening - we have been a mix of cultures in the last few seasons and we are going to be getting that side of the same.

"I think it is down to all of us to try to eradicate that and get it out of the game."

Simulation has been back on the agenda in the Barclays Premier League after Chelsea's Oscar was booked for the offence having gone to ground in the box in his side's 3-0 victory at Southampton on New Year's Day.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who backed the decision, agreed diving should be tackled but that England was the country most committed to doing so.

"There are many ways to fight it," Mourinho said.

"You can fight with the yellow card, you can fight with a wild criticism from you (the media) and from the fans. You can fight with penalty time, like Blatter is saying. There are many way to fight and we all should do that.

"The basic thing is culturally you have to try to be strong enough for people to feel (it is wrong), independent of penalties and suspensions and yellow cards.

"You have to try to persuade people it's an important issue in the game.

"If Mr Blatter is worried with that, I think he should do a tour in many countries, not just European, because he's FIFA.

"He has to start a tour, go around places where that becomes part of the culture and the last country for him must be England, because it's the country where football is more pure, is more clean, in relation to these situations."

PA

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