FIFA VP Jim Boyce believes diving is becoming a ‘cancer’ to soccer

The sport's governing body hopes to clamp down on simulation as it feels that the problem is becoming a plague on the game and that players need to be punished retroactively.
FIFA vice president Jim Boyce has claimed that diving is becoming a "cancer" to the game and wants the issue to be dealt with more swiftly in the future.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was at the center of a diving furor in the weekend's 0-0 draw with Stoke, and the issue has become a discussed-about subject in many corners of the world. In the aftermath of the game, Stoke manager Tony Pulis called for players to be banned for three matches if they have been deemed guilty of diving.

The FA currently doesn't allow retroactive punishments to be handed to players guilty of diving, a policy that is in place in leagues such as Major League Soccer. The issue has been discussed by the FA, the Premier League and the Football League before, but Boyce believes that it should be addressed again and that a change of policy is needed.

"I have seen several incidents recently, and I watched the latest Suarez incident two or three times, and to me it is nothing less than a form of cheating," Boyce told Press Association Sport. "It is becoming a little bit of a cancer within the game, and I believe if it is clear to everyone that it is simulation, then that person is trying to cheat and they should be severely punished for that.

"It can be dealt with retrospectively by disciplinary committees, and it is done so in some associations, and I believe that is the correct thing to do. It can at times be very, very difficult for referees to judge whether something is a foul or a fair tackle, and if players are diving then it makes their job even harder."

The Premier League has previously suggested a three-man panel to review contentious incidents after every weekend, which would include the issue of diving. The Premier League would be open to renewing such discussions on putting such a system in place.

The FA has said it has often reviewed the issue, and a spokesman stated, "Simulation is not something that the FA currently take retrospective action over, but it is an issue that is often reviewed and discussed by the game's stakeholders."

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