One of the most truly irritating aspects of watching a football match is when you see a ‘professional’ player drop to the floor writhing around in agony only to swiftly hop up again on his feet once he’s managed to sway the referees mind into giving him a free kick, or even worse a penalty.
In spite of the fact that millions of people are watching the game from either inside the stadium or at home, and broadcasters are able to show super slow-mo replays of a potential clash or cynical challenge on repeat, players still feel the need to fake injury and think that they will get away with it. So why do footballers fake injury?
These days there are many legitimate injuries that player’s suffer from that can affect their playing days and the Freebets injury watch widget has already picked up on some horrendous injuries at the start of this season. However, feigning injury has become a significant part of the professional game and unfortunately it’s becoming more and more common. So much time on the pitch is wasted these days with faux injuries which simply slow up the game.
Statistically speaking, only a small proportion of players who end up hitting the ground are actually injured with most simply getting back up on their feet in next to no time. Many critics and fans alike lambast players who consistently try and get away with faking their in-game injuries with many building notable reputations for doing so. Stand up Ashley Young at Manchester United and Arjen Robben at Bayern, to name a couple.
Decades ago football was a whole different affair with clashes and collisions being part and parcel of the game but in this modern era the grit, strength and general coming together of players has become far more guarded. Players are certainly more protected and there are definitely a small percentage of players out there now who regularly take full advantage of this. Arguably the faking of an injury is certainly not within the spirit of the game and surely cannot be considered to be morally just or a positive example of good sportsmanship.
Even a 50-50 battle for the ball can quite rapidly turn into a decision going for or against a certain team. So with any sort of slight contact with another player some professionals feel the need to over exaggerate the minor contact and suddenly hit the ground like they have been shot, backing it up with a ridiculous number of rolls along the ground to put the finishing touch to their final misleading act.
Rightly or wrongly, most English football followers trace the roots of this ridiculous behaviour to Latin and South American countries, with the influx of players from these nations having risen sharply in the last decade. Anyone who has watched the Brazilian and Argentinian national teams will testify to a lack of unsporting behaviour when it comes to diving and this seems to have infiltrated English football. Whether we will ever be able to eradicate diving is the source of much conjecture, but surely football associations around the world could do more to stop this from blighting the beautiful game.