English soccer introduces retrospective bans for simulation

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FA officials have recently spent some time in Scotland, where a rule is now in place for players to face retrospective action in the form of a two game ban should they be found guilty of gaining an unfair advantage for their team by diving.

Under the new rules, passed by the governing body at its annual general meeting on Thursday, a panel will review footage from the weekend each Monday looking for cases of simulation.

A panel of one ex-match official, one former manager and one ex-player will review footage and advise whether an offence has been committed.

For a player to be charged with "Successful Deception of a Match Official", the on-field decision must directly result in a penalty and or a red card for an opposing player.

If a player is unanimously found guilty then, similar to the Football Association's (FA) existing policy on retrospective violent conduct charges, they face being banned before their next game.

The law according to a statement from the body prescribed a two match ban for the offender.

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Hearts winger Jamie Walker has experienced both verdicts this season, having served a two-game ban for a dive to gain a penalty against Celtic in August and then been retrospectively cleared of simulation during a game against Rangers in December.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche claimed past year that such action would see simulation eradicated from football "in six months" following two incidents in Premier League matches.

Reports earlier this week said the English Football League, League Managers Association, Premier League and Professional Footballers' Association supported the plan, which needed their backing. The player contested the charge, but the compliance officer's verdict was upheld.

Football's authorities had been working on the proposal since January and felt the time was right to act in light of FIFA's new stance on using video refereeing in specific circumstances.

England, the birthplace of the contemporary codes of football, has once again shown us the way forward (although, in fairness, Scotland had already beaten them to it years ago).

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