Swedish team announced policy against their own players for diving
On Wednesday, Swedish second division side Östers IF announced that they would be punishing their own players for diving when the new season kicks off in April.
Over the past week, diving has once again been in the news following the antics of Barcelona and in particular Luis Suarez. Whether Suarez dived to secure a crucial penalty in Barcelona‘s 6-1 win over PSG remains up for debate but there seems little doubt that simulation in top class modern football is rife.
As Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet point out,Östers IF want to change football for the better, and they intend to start with themselves.
Johan Lindberg, a director at Östers IF says: “We want to make a difference, and are ready to act against our own players and leaders. We believe that we as a club can have influence, and that our work will also put pressure on more associations and clubs to take a position.”
Lindberg continues: “This is not something we have come to overnight, but it was brought up in the context of the Barcelona match. Although we live in different worlds, it is not the kind of football we stand for. We do not want to win in such a way.”
Östers IF have decided to fine players who they believe to have dived and if a player keeps diving they will expel him from the club.
Whilst Lindberg admits this is a grey area, he also wonders why other clubs will not follow suit, using video evidence to weed out repeat offenders.
And, with this no diving policy, Lindberg also takes aim at Real Madrid as well as Barcelona: “I’ve been thinking about this for many years. Why is there no suspensions or fines that make a difference? Take Real Madrid, who can choose exactly which players they want. Pepe’s the biggest pig in the world – why does he remain? He does things that the world thinks is wrong, lowers the brand, costs a lot of money. I do not understand it … But for us it is not this a way to generate publicity or to look good in the eyes of the world, but to actually make a difference.”
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