Technology can solve diving problem, says PFA boss Taylor
Players’ union boss Gordon Taylor has called for technology to be used in the fight against diving in the wake of the Santi Cazorla controversy.
Simulation has once again become a talking point after Arsenal playmaker Cazorla won a first-half penalty in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over West Brom after going to ground following a challenge by Steven Reid.
Replays showed there had been no contact between the players and Baggies boss Steve Clarke condemned referee Mike Jones for missing what he viewed as a blatant dive.
Gunners team-mate Mikel Arteta defended Cazorla, and while Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Taylor did not wish to comment on this specific case he believed the use of technology would help referees make the right calls.
“This has been a non-stop subject for a long time now – how we best deal with it given the pace of the game and the difficulties for referees and the assistant referees to judge,” Taylor told Sky Sports News.
“I think it’s going to be inevitable that if technology comes in for goalline decisions and penalty decisions, then it will help in these situations.
“Other sports move on and use technology and do all they can to be as successful as football, so we’ve got to keep at that cutting edge.
“I’m not saying change for change’s sake but change if it makes the game better and there’s more justice done…..
“Also for a long time we’ve been talking about a panel of former players, referees, former managers, to look at such incidents with a view to recommending to the FA whether action should be taken if there is a player who blatantly looked to claim a free-kick or a penalty when there’s no possibility of an offence being committed.”
In an interview given to the Daily Telegraph two months ago, Cazorla revealed that he views diving as “not something that should be a big controversy”.
The Spaniard is set to be omitted from Arsenal’s squad for tomorrow’s Capital One Cup quarter-final at Bradford with manager Arsene Wenger expected to rely on his fringe players, but his actions have highlighted a problem that Taylor agrees must be addressed.
“I don’t want to personalise it because he wouldn’t be the first player accused of diving and he won’t be the last, but it’s an issue that we all need to address,” Taylor said.
“Management, coaching staff, players and supporters have all got to buy into this and condemn it.
“We must make sure the game is played according to the spirit of the game and the letter of the law.
“We’ve got to give the referee and his assistants every possible opportunity to get their decisions right because virtually every Sunday and Monday morning now we have decisions complained about.
“We must also look at matches reflectively and take later action, rather than just say ’leave it how it was from the referee and we all move on’.”