Playacting in Soccer: Malicious or Modern?
For all my stout support of the beautiful game, I wonâ€™t be entirely ignorant in suggesting the sport isnâ€™t without fault.
One of the bigger problems in the modern game has to be the constant diving, flopping and playacting that makes the culprits look nothing short of ridiculous while incriminating innocent opponents, who are expertly painted as malicious perpetrators.
Thereâ€™s no denying that this foul play isnâ€™t something the soccer community should be proud of. Writhing on the ground after marginal contact doesnâ€™t exactly help in breaking the popular American stereotype that soccer players are, well, pansies.
Light contact too frequently leads to exaggerated reactions, giving referees an extremely difficult time distinguishing a truly poor tackle or foul from a completely fabricated situation. Not only does it make their job more challenging, but it blurs the sanctity of whatâ€™s supposed to be a â€œgentlemanâ€™s game.â€
Honestly, if you were to seek the worst soccer dives via a Google search you, like I, would be dumbfounded in sheer embarrassment. Itâ€™s pathetic and should have no place in the game, then or now.
The question, however, is whether this snag in the system is fixable or if itâ€™s merely an unwanted aspect of the modern game that will continue on.
Ideally, FIFA, UEFA and the other big governing bodies in global soccer would threaten steep penalties, including hefty fines or even suspensions, in an attempt to quell the influx of flopping.
Of course, the key word there is â€œideally.â€
In the heat of a game, players that employ the tactic of diving wonâ€™t possibly be capable of consistently limiting that trait. It relates to the NFL helmet-to-helmet hit debate: even if fines and suspensions can alter a playerâ€™s mindset to an extent, light consequences can only go so far.
Which leads me to believe that this playacting we see so commonly nowadays is here to stay. Itâ€™s visible in the most top-quality matchups (search Pepe dive Barcelona and Iâ€™ll rest my case) and the worst.
So, although the sport is, in my eyes, the best in the world on many levels, the flopping issue is a serious defect in the framework of the game and will unlikely be able to be removed any time soon.