Diving in footy, a.k.a. “The Russian judge gives it a 0.”

diver

“The ref better be looking at this shit, yo!”

A ruling has come down that has immense potential, for both good and bad. UEFA has slapped Arsenal striker Eduardo with a two-match ban for “intentionally deceiving the referee.”

Editorials have weighed in, calling it abritrary and rather silly, like shutting the barn door after the horse has been spotted in the downtown area. Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has likened the penalty to a “witch hunt.”

Why does this matter to us?

First off, here’s the video of the incident, for those who missed it.

You will never, ever see a more blatant, shamefully manipulative effort at (successfully) gaining a penalty, right?

Wrong.

Players dive all of the time. And the point of this is that we have two gentlemen on our club, who are getting a bit of a reputation, Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets.

Alves hails from the classic Brazilian, “I’m dead! I’m dead!” school of method acting, in which the motivation is simple: Act as though you’re getting a proctology exam with a red-hot poker. Make sure the ref sees you. Rise, limp around a bit and then back to it, mate.

Busquets, on the other hand, has a more stylized method, a combo platter of the Brazilian style, and the Catalan notion of seny (common sense). He only dives when he feels some contact, but then he sells it as hard as Alves, even as the whistle hasn’t gone, and the other club is scampering with the ball, toward our goal.

I don’t like divers. I even subtracted a point from an Alves rating in an earlier match for him diving.

But what of this ruling, and what does it symbolize? One of Goal.com’s cabal of caterwauling cockerels says that the ruling is hooey. His contention is that diving has gone on for eons, and why punish Eduardo, and why now?

The rule is simple: “suspension for two competition matches or for a specified period for acting with the obvious intent to cause any match official to make an incorrect decision.”

Note that the “incorrect decision” doesn’t specify location, as in “In the box.” So Alves or Busquets, or any Barca player, throwing himself to the turf at the slightest contact real or imagined, could very well get two matches off. Eduardo won’t be the last to be smacked down by this ruling.

My view is that yes, divers have been doing their thing for years, hands over a face contorted in pain, fingers spread just a teensy bit, to make sure that the official is watching the show. And it’s detestable. And it has to stop. The most effective way that I know of to make it stop isn’t to give a guy a yellow card, as is so often the case. It’s to ban his ass.

People are howling because the UEFA ban came after the match, in the indignant hindsight of 20/20, buttressed by shrieks of outrage by Celtic, among others. Arsenal would have won the tie even without the unjustly earned penalty, so why do it? Has diving become that ingrained in the fabric of the game that it becomes automatic?

–Is there any such thing as a justifiable dive?

–Will the Eduardo ban have any effect whatsoever on players’ willingness to swan to the turf, writing in mortal agony?

Good questions.

But first, let’s define a dive. For me, a dive is more than making a meal out of contact. It is feasting even in the absence of contact, when a player brushed your chest and you grab your face, falling to the turf. Or when you “trip” over an extended arm, hoping that in the bang-bang reality of a full-speed match, you can sell the penalty.

There is no such thing as a justifiable dive. And why isn’t making a meal of the slightest contact not considered in the same category as a dive? A player is still trying to deceive the ref, right?

Will the Eduardo ban have any preventive effect on diving? UEFA hopes so, but I say no. Unfortunately, it’s part of the game.

Is it arbitrary? Depends upon perspective, but UEFA had to start somewhere. This ruling was last implemented in 2008, and that one did nothing at all to stop players from trying to sell agony. And this one won’t either. Which doesn’t make it wrong. Diving does not belong in our beautiful game. It makes me cringe whenever Alves or Busquets do it, in part because we should be above that. Back in the day, the legendary English club Corinthians was the epitome of fair play. If a penalty was awarded against them, they didn’t even defend the net, saying in effect, “Well, we must have done it, so we’ll take our medicine.”

My sense of fairness wants the game to be as morally beautiful as it can be visually. This ruling won’t stop diving, but even if it makes people think about it, it’s a step in the right direction. Because diving is cheating, and cheating should be punished. No, not every cheater will be punished, which doesn’t mean that some who get caught shouldn’t be.

What say ye?

By Kxevin

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

148 comments

  1. Deco was easily our best diver in recent times! I was so glad he was in our team because it’s so frustrating watching people falling over so easily. (Jose Mari is by far the worst of them all)

    Kevin, the referees know who the divers are. I’m convinced the referees (in the EPL) have a whole notice board with notorious divers on it starting with Drogba, C.Ronaldo and the likes (they’re probably taking down ronaldo’s picture as I write this.. mumbling ‘Good Riddance’ under their breath.

    But this ruling sure has opened a can of worms…

  2. Eduardo didn’t exactly dive, he was avoiding the keeper due to his mental issues since having a terrible leg break- This is what you call a dive (youtube.com/watch?v=Fmxm0ArnCLg). This action has set a precedent, Eduardo is a scapegoat now they need to be consistent.Punish the real divers al-la Drogba, Gilardino, Rooney, Taylor, Ronaldo. They won’t do jack though. Wenger is right it has been a witch hunt by the SFA and the media. Double standards. When someone is really caught cheating UEFA Don’t act. UEFA lost credibility years ago, so why am I not surprised. PS I hate cheats, I think all players should show the backbone to admit when it wasn’t a foul. Like Arshavin vs Portmouth last may when he tried to prevent a penalty against him. This is what Players should do in the perfect world, this is what Eduardo should have done, but how many players would have in the same situation? he who is without sin cast the first stone…

    do you know wat is a disgrace? that hypocrite Celtic coach Tony Mowbray who slagged Eduardo for diving, but when Aiden McGeady GETS SENT OFF for faking a foul to get a penalty (dive) vs. Hibernian, he fucking defends him(?)
    AND THEN he goes and says in 99 out of 100 cases that wouldn’t have been called for, if the Eduardo case wasn’t so much blown up. when he was the one blowing it up in the first place. hypocritic mothafuka

    do you know wat is disgrace? Eduardo may get a 2 game ban for faking it, while Martin Taylor from Birmingham only got a 3 game ban for almost chopping his bloody leg off.

    do you know wat is a disgrace? when WAYNE ROONEY dives vs Arsenal and wins a penalty, hardly any media speak of it, and he is just another hero in MUTD’s win against Arse.
    their precious little Englishmen.

    WELL FUK DAT. that is wat I say. hypocritical little bitches. that is a disgrace.
    Wenger is right, the only difference between Eduardo and Rooney is that Rooney is a better actor.

  3. also, wat about the referees???
    they are paid to assess is it a foul or not? am I rite?
    so wat happens if they screw the course of the game? they don’t get prosecuted?? I think Chelsea fans would have something to say about that. (altho Chelsea fans would all be wrong, cuz not even 1 penalty from that game vs Barca was a 100%)

  4. Maybe those two extra refs they wanna put behind the goal can fix diving a bit.
    Banning a player for diving is a good move, but it should be done more often so that ppl start to think twice before trying to act, especially in the penalty area.
    I’ll never forget JUDAS FIGO when he acted his ass off in the Portugal – Netherlands match rolling all over the place and grabbing his face.

  5. I was outraged when I heard that Eduardo could possibly get banned for this.

    He isn’t the first person to dive. He won’t be the last.

    Why don’t we look at every Cronaldo penalty. I’m sure there are enough dives in there to ban him for half a season.

    I am also unsure of the implications. Will EVERY player that EVER dives from now one get hit with a two match ban? or will it just be the ones that are successful? a yellow card if you get caught, and a two match ban if you succeed?

    Will this be limited to the 18 yard box. I forgot what game i was watching, but i thought it funny that the referee gave a yellow card for diving, but the play happened around the half-field-line! If someone is caught successfully fooling the ref there, should they also get a two-match ban?

    And if we are doing so much to remedy PKs awarded when not deserved, what should we do about the countless frivolous yellows dolled out for players that are pushed down in the box, and given a yellow, just because the referee didn’t deem the foul penalty-worthy. We saw it last night (or maybe against shaktar), When Pedro was dropped to the floor, and unjustly given a yellow. Penalty? debatable, but he definitely did not dive. There was heavy contact with TWO HUGE players, and whether the contact is interpreted as a foul or not, he was knocked over because of it.

    And what will we do about penalties not awarded, such as Arshavin’s against Manchester United.

    I would have liked the situation better, had UEFA come in and say; “from now on, players who simulate to receive a penalty shall receive a 2-match ban”, without attaching it to any event. Kind of like a warning.

    Instead, they penalize a player for doing something that almost everyone has been guilty of, and that has been going on forever. I am inclined to agree with Wenger, in that this seemed like a witch-hunt. Why start with him?

    I think this area of football, just like goal-line cameras, the 5 referee system, has to be handled with caution and finesse. I think UEFA went into this like bumbling fools.

    I’m all for following ever rule down to the letter. Shit, if it were up to me, i would give a yellow to EVERY single player who moves and inch closer to a free kick taker, after the ref has given the 10 yards. I would give a a yellow to EVERY single player who picks up or kicks away a dead ball that belongs to the other team. But those rules are written and set in stone. And every players knows them. This punishment came out of no-where and thats the problem i have with it. As far as i am concerned, And Eduard as well, the punishment for simulation is a yellow card. Period.

    I could be wrong though. Thats just how i feel.

  6. Nothing is more frustrating than watching a player dive. Barca can win any game without Alves and Busquets falling all over the place in the midfield. Plus, a good 50+% of fouls committed against Busquets would be avoided if he didn’t wait to dish out the ball until the last microsecond.

  7. I agree that diving is terrible part of the game. Almost no human could knock down Drogba with a slight shoulder barge, yet he drops like a sack of potatoes off a ten story building. I hate it when Alves does it as well.

    The flip side is that referee’s won’t call a penalty unless a player goes down. There are many fouls that prevent a player from scoring, but unless the player falls over, its not a penalty.

    There are two parts of football that really bother me. One is the arbitrary nature of penalties. The other is how they deal out cards. Both can have a huge impact on the game, and the official has to make a decision in the blink of an eye with some of the fastest people in the world running around them.

    As to Eduardo, he was looking for the contact and probably a bit worried about the leg too, but the keeper pulled up smartly. I don’t think he was actually looking to dive without contact. If the Aluminia pulls his hands back, Rooney was already going down and it would have been the exact same play.

  8. This is one thing the game needed big time. I hate diving cheating more than fouls.Best thing about this is that it has 20/20 hindsight advantage.

    How can you expect everyday folks to be fair in their life choices when people as priviledged as Footballers resort to cheating? Its a joy watching Messi getting on with the game even after taking legitimate fouls.

  9. I believe Eduardo deserves it. And anybody who fakes like that. Why? Arsenal would have won…would have…probably. But that penalty reduced Celtic chances to 0% (before that, they barely had 5%).
    The problem is that UEFA and / or national football associations are not consistent when applying rules. If UEFA keeps banning players during the whole season, I am pretty sure next year all these deceivers will be gone. But, unfortunately, they only do it once or twice throughout the year to see if the boys behave…

    On the other hand, implementing this rule all the way would mean that not only divers but the likes of shirt-pullers…would need to be banned as well. Don’t you think? I mean, isn’t that cheating the ref? Two players go head to head and one tries to slow or halt the other one by doing something illegal. Hey! They are trying to deceive the referee there! I barely see a yellow card for that (only when it is undeniable).

    Football is not a mechanical sport (unlike American football, where “thousands” of tv cameras keep an eye on the pitch and where coaches communicate with players – and other coaches up the stands- with radio signals). Football was invented by the English (as well as rugby) and it was intended to be a gentleman sport. If you watch a rugby match, the players do all kind of things to each other. But they play fair (99% of the times). Maybe it keeps being like that because us Latinos (Mediterranean or Central and South America) are not good at it and therefore do not play it! 🙂 Let’s keep it like that. I am pretty sure that if Spain, Portugal, Argentina or Brazil would have rugby teams competing at top level, they would need a bunch of extra umpires. Italy plays the Six Nations, but they usually get trashed, so no need of dirty manneouvers.

    Solution: I would favour the referees behind the goal line. Maaaaaany problems would be sorted.

  10. “I would have liked the situation better, had UEFA come in and say; “from now on, players who simulate to receive a penalty shall receive a 2-match ban”, without attaching it to any event. Kind of like a warning.

    Instead, they penalize a player for doing something that almost everyone has been guilty of, and that has been going on forever. I am inclined to agree with Wenger, in that this seemed like a witch-hunt. Why start with him?” Amen ElShowDeJason

    I like the fact Kevin points out our own deficencies in the diving aspect. I will elaborate even a little more.

    My feeling is that we are a team that has become more and more liable to these diving accusations (be it some players more than others). The fact that Xavi, Messi, Iniesta to name a few are physically not the most impressive players. Yet due to their pure technical awesomness other players/teams see as their sole countervailing measure: chopping off their leggs, ankle’s,… .
    Referee’s give them a foul, but mostly no card or they give no foul and offenders get away with their criminal behaviour.
    This is where the Hero becomes the Villain…they start fallin’ faster, more often and when contacts are lighter, OR when there is none whatsoever. We start diving.

    There are a couple of points which I would like to stress.

    One, our players are/were generally taken physically weaker. Moreover, Barcelona is generally the technically stronger side (by far). So, the anatomy of our team makes a physical approach by competitors more efficient. In addition, our superiority on the technical side and reliance on possession of the ball often tends to drive other teams crazy.

    Both factors give way to “assassination attempts on the likes of Messi & Co” or at the least hard tackles, continuous pushing, punching, pulling, etc. (Spanish) Referees in general do not book the perpetrators of these criminal acts as strict as they should, e.g. a red directly when needed, a yellow at the first attempt of instigating physical damage instead of going for the ball (See El Classico @Camp Nou vs Messi last season) and should continue to do so to defend football as a game. Because of a continuation of this process (foul no card,etc) , game after game, season after season…our guys tend to fall more easily/usually when contact is made.

    A good example of this process is Ronaldinho who tried to keep his actions going even when kicked, pushed, squeezed,… in his early days at Barça. Yet the opponents rarely got cards or a free kick against them, when Ronnie lost the ball or the action failed after an offence was made and he kept on going.

    A simple solution to this problem exists, one falls directly when “contact” is made. The consequence is more cards for opponents, more freekicks and thus the more scoring opportunities or numerical advantageous situations arise. That is exactly what he did, he fell more easily. Ofcourse he also got lazyier because he could rely on his free kicks one the one hand but on the other because the only way to stop him was to “hack a Ronnie” and cards stayed in the pocket of the referees. After a while when all these processes were fully internalized, Ronnie started diving and got even awarded with penalties, free kicks,… he became good at it and these days he falls more easily than leaves do in autumn.

    All in all, while it doesn’t look like some smaller decisions on the part of the referee seem to matter, they actually do tremendously. Giving a yellow card after dirty fouls, while the victim has chosen to continue playing the game (but not receiving a benefit) is essential. Moreover, it is imperative to punish criminal tackles from moment 1, hence a whole other process starts to little by little ruining the beautiful game.

    As long as perpetrators get away with their acts and opponents gain by cheating, we will continue to fall harder, better ,faster, stronger.

  11. I agree, what now happens to Jackass defenders that pull on shirts during set pieces, and are not called on it. They are, in a way, deceiving the referee. Because if the referee has seen it, it should be a penalty. So the defender is doing so, assuming that he will not get caught.

    I hate shirt pulling defenders more than divers.

    Or, if anyone can remember England v (Trinidad and Tobago?) in WC06

    Peter Crouch went up for a Beckham cross, and pulled on the defender’s hair, to get over him and head in a goal. I think that deserves the same, if not a more sever ban. And that went unpunished.

  12. “cabal of caterwauling cockerels”? someone has thesaurus.com under their bookmarks j/k j/k good stuff good stuff

    this whole deal reminds me of zidanegate’06. that decision empowered little bitch ass sideline referees to confer w/the real referee & decide a game. i wasn’t against that ruling but i have a feeling this two match ban thingymabob may have the same sort of effect on a match.

    i’m not for video replays or any sort of retroactive punishment on anybody in the beautiful game. referees have a job to do on the pitch, not off of it.

    p.s. i dig the fun fact about corinthians. that’s fucking awesome.

  13. p.p.s i think the whole yellow card for taking off a shirt thing should be appealed. girlys want to see more sweaty boys w/their shirts off. give them what they want.

    sporting club would be in the champions league right now if it weren’t for that bunk ass shit.

  14. Another option would be a fine to the deceivers. Maybe a 1% of their salary. And increasing if they are reincident. That would hurt! For if they are banned, the ones suffering the consequences are the team and the fans. Whereas if you get their money….oh boy! trust me when I say that would sting!

    @Han, I agree with you! I was thinking the same. Our stars are technically gifted, but not strong. You only need a slight kick to make them tumble to the ground, due to their fast pace when controlling the ball. Therefore, I believe Barça get much more fouls per match than any other team. However, only a small amount of them get punished.

    @Txikidracula, girls should be happy with Ibra then! He removes his shirt at the end of each match to show his tattoo-covered body 🙂

  15. In principle, I think they had no right to punish him, even if he clearly dived. There were similar incidents before and the UEFA did not act. So this one sounds a picky punishment even if it was not.

    They could have issued a specific new regulation (article) explaining the punishment of diving. And you start apply it for the diving that happens after you confirm the regulation, you do not apply it for what happened before. Or else why going only one week before, why not one month?

    But the interesting issue is: If every time a player dive in a league he get banned for the two following games, then C.Ronaldo will play less than 13 games this season.

    If two dives or more in the same match earn you additional punishments, then the poor creature will spend the whole season banned, and still be in a banning dept.

  16. Its not right to comment before reading other comments, some may have explained things better, so you dont need to make the effort.

  17. What pisses me off most about divers, is that they make it harder for the players who actually try to stay on their feet. It seems that refs are more than happy to award free kicks for dives and then not punish players for constantly kicking at the heels of the likes of Messi or Xavi. It is as if just because they didnt go down the foul wasnt bad enough to warrant a free kick, when more often than not, they are blatant and consistent. Messi in particular gets a lot of this sort of treatment, instead of making a blatant foul the defender just kicks at his heels over and over and because Messi is Messi if course he wants to stay on his feet.

    I can understand the need for players like Alves though, all teams have them, so why shouldnt we. That player that really gets under your skin and ruffles your feathers. He gets the opposition going and it must be infuriating. I am not saying I like it, I hate divers, to me it is one of the most shameful things in the game, but i can understand it. However what is abosultely inexcusable to me are the players that roll around on the ground when the opposition has the ball and is attacking. Its one thing to go down and then get up immediately if the whistle doesnt blow, its another to stay down rolling around when the ref clearly hasn’t bought it. There is nothing worse than seeing a player rolling around on the floor while the opposition is on a break.

  18. I feel much the same as many. I don’t know about when to implement the penalties, though. I would imagine that not many players or coaches, for that matter, know about the “deceit” rule, and its application/penalties.

    I think a larger problem is when to crack down on people. Many of us have received sanction for some infraction that is a common practice, such as speeding, or turning on red. On that day, at that time, you got pipped. Arbitrary? You bet. But the rule is still there to be implemented by the official in question.

    And there’s the problem, as has been so correctly pointed out. The modern game is so fast now, and there is no single refereeing standard. A foul for one ref is not a foul for different ref. Some refs are always in a good position to see a play, some never are.

    I’m not, ultimately, sure what the answer is regarding diving and its eradication from the game. In many ways, it’s become like a charging foul in the NBA. Many players, particularly European ones (perhaps a legacy of the footy dive?) have mastered the art of falling backward as if poleaxed when the offensive player makes contact with them. He gets the foul, their team gets possession. It’s a judgment call by the referee.

    This one flummoxes me. I’m just not sure what the answer is.

  19. Hilal also raises a good point about forcing the foul call. If you’re getting hammered the whole match, at some point it would seem that you have to hit the deck and roll around to call attention to it.

    Or have players such as Xavi and Messi earned the right to go to the ref and say “Dude, I’m getting killed. Do you want to start calling those, or should I start flailing about on the pitch as if I’ve been shot?”

    I’d wager that for every fake call that a diver gets, he doesn’t get a real call because the ref thinks he’s BSing. That started happening to Alves, and it’s happening to Busquets. Refs talk, and players get reputations.

  20. Spot on Kevin, I remember a quite vivid example in the first leg vs Chelsea last year

    “Or have players such as Xavi and Messi earned the right to go to the ref and say “Dude, I’m getting killed. Do you want to start calling those, or should I start flailing about on the pitch as if I’ve been shot?”

    It are these kind of games that have made our guys go to the ground a little bit faster.In retrospect looking at Ronnie,that is what happened to him. He just went from messi-like, staying on his feet to Inzaghi-like, falling like an actor.

    Hopefully the latter part of your reputation part comes true for CR94. Just having my doubts about that in La Liga given the “virginal” team he plays for.

  21. News/Rumor just in…… Ibra is carrying a minor knock sustained against Gijon. Barca have asked Sweden not to play him in the qualifier

  22. “Eduardo didn’t exactly dive, he was avoiding the keeper due to his mental issues since having a terrible leg break-”

    😐

    Alves and Busi have nothing to worry about. The Eduardo situation was a clear-cut, down-right obvious dive that the ref couldn’t have spotted due to the angles and whatnot. Alves and Busi don’t dive, they overreact, which is harder to prove. That can often work against us, anyway, as Busi has often proven.

    This is a step in the right direction. Wegner’s “they’re picking on us!!” Answer is downright despicable. Your boy got caught breaking the law..deal with it.

  23. IN:
    Ibra (€40m)
    Chygrynskiy (€25m)
    Keirrison (€15m)
    Maxwell (€5m)
    Pedro (free – promoted)

    Total 5 players: €113m

    OUT:
    Eto’o (free)
    Guddy (free + €2m)
    Xavi Torres (free)
    Sylvinho (free)
    Jorquera (free)
    Victor Sanchez (free)
    Caceres (loan)
    Hleb (loan)
    Keirrison (loan)
    Henrique (loan)

    Total 10 players: €0 plus €2million clauses.
    Total 5 players less and €111m worse off.

    Youth Team players for possible promotion:
    Fontas
    Muniesa
    Jeffren
    Jonathan

    Which leaves us hoping that the football gods are smiling on us in terms of injuries and suspensions.

    Having worked it all out, I’m a little worried.

  24. A question:

    So if a ball clearly goes out of bounds off of a player, and then he raises his hand claiming vehemently that it was out off the other team, then should he be suspended for 2 games as well?

    Cheating is cheating, so you shouldn’t selectively enforce the rule.

  25. Why are people focusing on the fact that this is the first time the rule has ever been applied? That makes no difference on the existence of it. It’s there, period, so don’t do it.

    There are many laws in government that don’t get applied consistently or on a regular basis. Jay walking is the most common one. I can jaywalk in front of a cop and he wouldn’t do anything. Another is littering, speeding, etc. That doesn’t make them less of a law, and people only think of them as unfair when they get caught.

    If you don’t want to get in trouble for it, don’t do it to begin with.

    Either way, it’s fairly common for authorities to use someone as an example, and Eduardo could be that example. From here on out, they might be handing out suspensions for players who dive. Or they might not. I prefer the former but, either way, Eduardo is guilty. So…

  26. just for all of us and maybe Isaiah especially to remember. Out of a post about exactly 1 year ago (hopefully not used before):

    “So there it is, your Barcelona 2008-2009 team. I’m excited, you’d better be excited, and soon we’ll see exactly why. We won’t win the Triple, probably not even a double, but we’ll contend at every level, and we can certainly win the league back, which will be about time. Real Madrid is going to be good, so is Villarreal, so is Sevilla, but we’re going to be better, more incisive, and, most importantly, more creative.”

    Feels good to prove some intelligent culé got it wrong with his prediction.

    @Ciaran hopefully Pep just instinctivily knows how much he has to invest to get the treble:-) last year’s price was Alves, Keita, Pique and Pinto. Now probably a bigg-ass swede, a hairy ukrainian geek, a cheap brazilian and lil’ spanish boy. Fine by me, as long as his instinct doesn’t fool him.

    Yet it is quite mercurial that we did not get a single euro coming back from sales. Damn crisis, consumption has plummeted!!!

  27. It’s a good move from the UEFA to finally make this rule happen. And even if the rule says differently, I don’t think that a player will get banned if he dives in his own half or in any meaningless situation.
    Plus, if the rule is already existing since 2008 but nothing happened until 1 week ago, I suppose that people will only get banned
    – for as obvious dives as Eduardo’s
    – for dives that lead to a goal or at least a golden opportunity

    The rule will be applied in this way and still, there will be players who get away with their dives. BUT I guess it won’t take another 10 months (or since whenever this rule exists) until the next player gets penalized. And this might actually have an effect on the other divers.

    In particular for us, this rule might turn out to be an advantage. As I’ve said, I can’t imagine Alves or Busquets being banned for making a less important dive in the midfield area, but I know at least one certain Portuguese person from Real Madrid who likes to dive the Brazilian way, but closer to the penalty area than our renowned divers. So watch out CR, UEFA got their eyes on you 😀

  28. Bwahahahahaha! Thanks for that, Han. Isaiah sucks! 😀

    What will interest me is whether the UEFA strictness trickles down to league level.

    And, this just in: Well, not just in, but news to me as of 3:10 a.m. Chicago time:

    Baby Kxevin’s going to the Camp Nou Clasico!

    To say that I’m over the moon would be an understatement. Champions League tix aren’t on sale yet, but I figure on being able to grab one of those, as well. That’s the Tuesday before.

    Barcelona, here I come!

    I have never, ever seen the stadium, via the on-line ticket finder service through the club, completely sold out. Even as I would click on a section, in the time it took to churn, the seat was gone. I wound up in the south goal about a third of the way up, but I would sit on the roof, frankly.

    So. Excited. Right. Now.

  29. OhYes, the escence of law is Justice, and the key of Justice is fairness. No Fairness=no justice=no law.

    If applying the law becomes a selective (moody) matter, where do we go from there? Just imagine.

    Besides, there is no rule for diving, but for cheating. What about the example Citizen mentioned. What if a defender while covering a ball so the opponent’s forward doesn’t reach it, dived on the ball demanding a foul when he feels that the forward may get the ball? What if the referee saw a handball and whistled a penalty while it was not? Will every player who was close to the ball get punished for not telling the referee that its not a penalty? I mean its an extreme case but if you look at it, its still cheating. What if a player pretended being injured to waste time or to kill the game tempo? Its all cheating after all.

    You cant apply the law articles subjectively, based on the taste of each case. In fact lawyers do less effort to prove their clients not guilty than the effort they put to point out that the “evidences” are not valid to apply “the legal articles”, and most of the time based on previous cases where the law proved nonexistence. It sucks, but again that’s how far we can go to justice, with a sense of equity.

    And Helge, again you do not get a fine only if you turn on red and cause an accident. You get a fine for turning on red. So diving is diving, if its in midfield or in the box. If it causes a goal or not. What if a forward steels the ball from the last defender creating a scoring opportunity, then the defender dived fooling the refree who whistles a foul? The diver didnt score, nor the forward. So?

    Noting that I am not defending divers. nor trying to say the divers must not be punished. But the legal firms related to football are pissing me off recently. There is a way to apply the law. Its not the way UEFA is practicing it.

  30. Kxevin, I am planning to go there during that week as well. But not a final decision yet. I wonder if it will be too late to wait till the end of month regarding finding tickets. I am trying to sort things out here to get that week for free.

  31. True, Ramzi. What UEFA is in effect doing is slapping one kid on the hand for stuff that all the other kids are also doing, in the hope that it will stop them doing what they’re doing.

    It won’t, just as it didn’t when implemented the first time, in ’08 (also a two-match ban).

  32. Ramzi, this morning was a first for me to see the stadium completely sold out. Even for last year’s Clasico, that wasn’t the case. And this was at about half-hour after tix went on sale.

    Three options: You could sign up for a tour package, where a group that already has tix gets you in; scalp them, though I hear they’re already in the 400 Euro range; or hope that some tix get freed up via the Seient Lliure system, where members and season ticket holders turn back tix they aren’t going to use. Those get kicked into the system a couple of days before.

    If you’re going to be in Barcelona that week, we definitely have to hook up. And it would be worth popping in to the stadium on Wednesday or Thursday, to ask about seats being released.

    And Champions League tickets, because the whole stadium is in play, will be easier to score. It could be the same as Shakhtar, where the group is decided by then, and we roll out the kids vs their second string.

  33. In spain everyone dives, maybe in England they don’t do a s much I don’t know. Both teams can dive so it’s a fair cheat… the wrong thing would be if only one team of the two can cheat. Plus it is a know phrase that “el fútbol es para listos” – “football is for smart people”. And a 1-0 from an unfair penalty vs for example is really a thrill. Hristo dived a lot… so I can’t say a bad thing about diving. It’s a cheat ok but everyone can do it and it’s part of the game. Plus… tell a players who’s losing 1-0 in a CL game, gets close to the keeper and is gonna miss the chance not to dive, it’s impossible. I love to see kids playing football and they all dive and shout in false pain because their idols do… I find it really funny 😛

    if the ref gets fooled he calls it and he sees the cheat he takes a yellow card to the diver no big deal. That’s what the ref is for.

    btw…. did the ref call the penalty? I guess the ban is beacause the ref called it 😉

  34. The ref did call the penalty, poipoi. And it put the knife in what slim chance Celtic had to beat Arsenal.

    And I agree with your last scenario, even though the fair play guy in me would feel guilty for being giddy.

  35. ISAIAH HATES THE FCBARCELONA WEBSITE FOR SUCKING SO MUCH HE COULDN’T GET A TICKET.

    That was in all caps for a reason.

    I’ll hold the fort down here and will probably go to Nevada Smiths because fuck that, I’m going to have a blast instead of going to Camp Nou (and crapping myself in happiness). It’ll save me about $1000, so I’m pretty into that part. I just need to get The Lady to transfer to a Spanish banking institution for a year and then I can go to Camp Nou games all the damned time.

  36. kxevin… I read you’re a soci!! that’s nice, congratulations 😛

    how much is is it if you don’t have a seat, just acces to buy big game tix like CL?

  37. Been a soci for a while, sir. It’s a 20% discount over regular prices for socis. Champions League tix aren’t crazy expensive, though the Inter tie will be high-demand if the group is still in play, and both teams have to field full-strength sides. My CL ticket last year was EUR88, and I was center of the park, Tribuna side, about mid-way up.

    This is as opposed to EUR225 for Clasico tix in the good spots.

  38. UNDER regular prices! Sorry. Sleepless hands aren’t working right.

    Isaiah, that PIN number thing is new this year. They assigned them two years ago, but you didn’t need it last year to purchase tickets via the Web.

    From 3:30 to about 5 a.m., you could barely get on the site. They need better servers!

  39. Thanks Kxevin. I believe there has to be some tours going from sweden. If I got my ticket this way, it will be another reason why I wanted us to sign Ibra. 😀

    I needed three important events to feel the trip worth, now I have it (not in that order):

    – Watching Barcelona beating Real Madrid and ronaldo staring up to the sky (as he usually does)with a sweaty -squeezed like a yellow lemon-face telling his god that he diserves better for being the 1st, 2nd, 3rd player his mom ever delivered, but its just that he is playing for a shitty team, he cant do everything alone. And Pellegrini tactics sucks! And the moments where Perez fix his eyeglasses and Valdano fixing his tie. While Laporta is too excited that he cant set still in his place even though the president keep trying hard to behave.

    – Watching Mou walking nervously outside the field complaining that even though Ballotelli is the best forward in the world, Mancini is better than Messi, and Ibra is nothing without the bless of the special one, Inter lost 5-0 because the Referee only counted 2 minutes as extra time instead of three and Iniesta used trash talk against Materazzi who is too classy to handle it.

    – And meeting Kxevin to get a lecture about “How to write a football article the journalists way?”

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