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18th May 2017

Jamie Carragher had a priceless take on the FA’s new punishment for diving

Couldn't resist

Darragh Murphy

It might be a tad overdue but the FA is finally clamping down on simulation.

English football’s governing body has announced a new offence called ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’ which will see certain players found guilty of diving punished retrospectively.

If it’s found that a player dived to win a penalty or a player is sent off due to an act of simulation from an opponent, the player found guilty of diving by an FA investigation will receive a two-match suspension.

Retrospective can also be taken if either of the two yellow cards picked up by a dismissed player were shown due to an act of diving from an opposition player.

In a statement released by the FA on Thursday, the new protocol was explained:

“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.”

The FA has the power to rescind any red card or caution that led to a red card that stemmed from an act of diving from an opposition player.

One of the most high-profile cases of a player being accused of simulation this season came when Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford seemingly went down easily under a challenge from Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi last month..

The incident divided opinion among BT Sport pundits Michael Owen and Chris Sutton, who analysed the challenge at half-time, while United legend Gary Neville came out in defence of the youngster.

Under the new system, which will come into force at the beginning of next season, players will presumably think twice before throwing themselves to the ground as a two-game suspension could be awaiting them.

And Neville’s punditry soulmate Jamie Carragher couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the piss out of the Red Devils after learning of the new FA protocols.