Jewell admits: 'Diving is part of the game'

January 5, 2006

Wigan manager Paul Jewell has admitted diving has become an accepted part of the game in England while referees' chief Keith Hackett confirmed officials do their homework in a bid to clamp down on it.

Despite new rules being introduced by governing bodies every summer, controversy surrounding various issues remains as fierce as ever with the new offside interpretation and goal-line technology particularly hot topics at the moment.

And Wigan chief Jewell admitted `simulation', another modern-day buzz-word within the game, is increasingly accepted.

'We don't sit down and discuss it, but we're all trying to get an edge. Diving is not something we try to encourage and I'm not condoning it at all but if you get a chance, you go down.

'Some people call it gamesmanship, some say it is cheating,' he said during a debate broadcast on Radio 5 Live.

Premiership referee Rob Styles described the difficulty in punishing diving due to the fine line between a genuine foul and `simulation'.

'If you're going to caution a player for simulation, you are calling him a cheat. If you are going to caution a player you need to be sure.

'There should be a distinction between clear acts of simulation and situations perhaps where a player exaggerates the effects of a foul challenge to make the referee make a decision.'

Professional Game Match Officials Board general manager Hackett admitted referees study diving cases in a bid to help them recognise diving during a match.

'We use video technology to look at incidents and clip those together and theme them, so it could well be that at a meeting we're showing 20 or 30 clips of incidents involving diving.

'From that we get a running theme on how we as referees can improve the detection,' said Hackett.