SFA wants divers to face trial by video

Click to follow

Fifa will be urged this weekend to allow video evidence to be used to punish players who dive. In Gleneagles tomorrow, the annual meeting of the International Football Association Board, the game's rule-making body, will hear a call from the Scottish FA to toughen up the rules on "simulation".

Under current Fifa regulations, diving cannot be punished retrospectively if the referee has seen the incident and decided not to give the player involved a yellow card. The Scottish FA chief executive, Gordon Smith, said yesterday: "We feel it's an important issue to improve the image of the game and we want to put it to Fifa to see if something can be done. As an ex-player, I get very frustrated when I see what the situation has become in football. If some sort of action could be taken I believe people would think twice about doing it, especially if they knew they risked being punished retrospectively."

Smith understands Fifa's wish to protect the status of referees, but argues that the game has moved on. Furthermore, he points out that both Fifa and Uefa have used television footage to ban players for simulation in the past. Smith added: "My position is that television is such a big part of the game now that there are certain incidents when it can be helpful in terms of the image of the game.

"There have been examples in the past – Rivaldo was punished in the 2002 World Cup after he pretended he had been hit in the head when the ball was kicked at his legs."

In September, Lithuania's Saulius Mikoliunas was suspended for two games, after Uefa found him guilty of diving to win a penalty against Scotland. There was another incident at Celtic Park in October when the Milan goalkeeper Dida was banned for a match by Uefa for overreacting after being confronted by a fan.

Dida was taken off the field on a stretcher despite minimal contact and was later suspended for unsporting conduct.

The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, will be invited tomorrow to recognise the Scottish Second Division club Queen's Park as trailblazers of the modern game. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, and the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, are backing the SFA's campaign to see the Glasgow club honoured with Fifa's Order of Merit.

Only two clubs, the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Sheffield FC, who are the oldest club in the world, have been awarded the honour previously, while Pele, Nelson Mandela and the late Bobby Moore rank among a select band of individual recipients.

Queen's Park, formed in 1867, are the world's second-oldest club and they arranged the first international match when Scotland met England in 1872. The SFA president, George Peat, will hand over the application document to Blatter. Peat will make the nomination of Queen's Park "in recognition of their outstanding role in the development of the modern game and for 140 years of service to football".

Queen's Park, who founded the SFA in 1873, will be feted at Fifa's annual congress in Sydney at the end of May if the SFA succeeds.

The Prime Minister said: "Queen's Park's contribution to football cannot be overstated. As the first club to play to the passing style and rules of football in the 19th century, their legacy is the brand of football played across the globe today. Some of the most fundamental elements of the modern game owe their existence to this special club. I can think of no more fitting recognition."

Comments