BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Football’s ruling bodies appear to be uninterested in dealing with the problem of diving in the sport said Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who believes the increase in simulation reflects a ‘cultural change’ in the Premier League.
Dyche has frequently expressed his concern about the spread of diving for penalties but says he senses little appetite to deal with the issue.
“I just think the game is so big now. I cannot believe, there are children all over the country diving all over the place... I just can’t believe that the powers that be of a fantastic sport like football don’t grip hold of that. I am stunned by that,” Dyche told a recent Q and A with Burnley fans, published on the club’s official website (www.burnleyfootballclub.com).
“I don’t think I am going to change it. I don’t think there is a thirst to change it. I don’t get the feeling that anyone is that bothered about it. I don’t think that the powers that be are, they seem to think that the game is in good order. I just can’t fathom it out.
“For kids across the country and across the world watching the Premier League - I can’t fathom that out. They seem to just want to let it go,” he said.
Dyche said there are now cases of diving in the Premier League which would once have been considered laughable.
“I am really talking about the blatant dives, or the ones when... someone touches someone on the shoulder and somehow their legs go up in the air. If you were playing in the playground when you were a kid, you’d get laughed at,” he said.
“If our players do it, I would have a word with them. I wouldn’t hammer them about it but I would say ‘that’s not for me. Just get on with playing. If you get clipped and go down that is fine, that’s the way it goes’ but not the stuff where you get touched on the shoulder and you jump up in the air.
“I just don’t think it’s appropriate, I don’t think it is good for the game. I am not trying to be too moralistic but I have a son who plays and I don’t think he wants to see his Dad promoting that,” added the 46-year-old.
“I think there is a cultural change, I think we know that. Some leagues, particularly in Europe, it is more of a normal occurrence for players to go down, let’s just say, softly. That is a cultural thing.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge