BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Burnley manager Sean Dyche hit out at diving after an incident in Saturday’s goalless Premier League draw when Huddersfield Town’s Dutch winger Rajiv van La Parra blatantly threw himself to the floor in search of a penalty.
The dive, with no contact from any defender, was spotted by referee Christopher Kavanagh who booked Van La Parra and Dyche said the player’s behaviour was “unacceptable”.
”I was a defender and if you touch someone and go down it’s gamesmanship, but when no contact going down? That’s got to go. For a product as good as football why do you need it? You wouldn’t have it in many other sports so why this?
“I have been harking on about it for about three years with someone diving. I‘m not saying we’re whiter than white but if one of my players does it, they’re getting the curly finger next week,” said the Burnley manager.
“The ref was excellent and he should be protected from that. It’s unacceptable in my book –- I have been talking about it for three years. It’s not about the player, it’s the moment,” he added.
Dyche said that diving set a poor example for youngsters watching the game.
“I talk of it for the good of the game. It’s about my kid watching the game; I travel around watching games and there are kids diving all over the place, they copy players and it’s got to go,” he said.
“That one today is as bad as I have seen. I don’t know the player as a person, it might be off the scale for him, but it’s about the moment.”
With the referee having seen the incident and acted, the matter will not be dealt with retrospectively but Dyche said he hoped the eventual introduction of video assistance for referees could bring about a change.
“Maybe the video thing will give the ref a chance, whatever way they bring it in and look at it. Maybe that will affect it,” he said.
Huddersfield manager David Wagner said he had not been able to see a replay of the incident but was aware it had been a dive.
“I was too far away. Sean was even further away! I’ve not seen it again. I’ve spoken to him and it was a dive. We don’t like to see that. You get booked, you get a fine and we move on,” he said.
Editing by Clare Fallon