Blatter angered by 'preposterous' simulation

BERNE Thu Jan 2, 2014 6:50pm GMT

FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts during a news conference after being re-elected for a fourth term as president of world soccer's governing body during the 61st FIFA congress at the Hallenstadion in Zurich June 1, 2011. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

FIFA President Sepp Blatter reacts during a news conference after being re-elected for a fourth term as president of world soccer's governing body during the 61st FIFA congress at the Hallenstadion in Zurich June 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

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BERNE (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter is fed up with "preposterous" simulation and "extravagant" diving by players and has said it is up to referees to solve the problem.

"This kind of thing is treated with scorn in other sporting disciplines but it has become a normal and accepted part of football nowadays," Blatter wrote in the latest edition of FIFA Weekly, which will be published on Friday.

"Even though simulation is incredibly unfair and looks preposterous when viewed in a replay, some people regard it as smart or in the worst case as a harmless misdemeanour.

"This includes the winning of controversial penalties by extravagant diving in the box," added Blatter.

"I find this deeply irritating, especially when the (supposedly) half-dead player comes back to life as soon as they have left the pitch. The touchline appears to have acquired powers of revival which even leading medical specialists cannot explain."

"The ball is in the referees' court," he added. "The instructions are now clear on this matter: if a player is lying on the floor, the opposing team are not required to put the ball into touch."

Blatter said players should be made to wait before returning to the pitch if the referee believed they had feigned injury.

"The referee should only intervene if he believes a serious injury has occurred. When a ‘stricken' player seeks to return to the field of play immediately after being taken off, the referee can make the player wait until the numerical disadvantage has had an effect on the game.

"In practical terms this amounts to a time penalty - and it could cause play-actors to rethink.

"Cutting out this kind of cheating is also a matter of respect towards opponents and fans, and ultimately one of self-respect as a professional and role model."

(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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