Neil Kilkenny of Melbourne (left) tackles Isaias of Adelaide during their round-four A-League match.
Neil Kilkenny of Melbourne (left) tackles Isaias of Adelaide during their round-four A-League match. TRACEY NEARMY

Time to show the red card to diving

SIMULATION is more of a blight on the game of football than anything else and it always has been.

That is why it gets my back up week in week out in leagues all around the world when players dive or go down too easily in challenges.

Some of the highest-paid and most talented stars in the game are guilty of conning referees - because that's what it is - into getting free-kicks.

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi this week said Football Federation Australia needed to take a stronger stance against these cheats, and of course I agree with him.

He also said the FFA was aware this cheating goes on, and again I am sure he is right.

But this week the FFA had the perfect opportunity to raise the stakes against simulation after the shocking antics from Melbourne City's Neil Kilkenny.

For those who have not seen Kilkenny's unbelievable reaction to the slightest of touches from Adelaide United's Isaias, take a look on the internet.

You will see the former Socceroo go down as if he's been punched in the face, before rolling around on the floor.

These were clearly the actions of someone trying to get a fellow professional sent off, which is reprehensible.

What was also unbelievable was that referee Chris Beath took no action against Kilkenny's play acting - not even issuing the midfielder with a yellow card.

Referees are not to blame, however.

Because of the number of times a player dives or goes down too easily, it is so hard for an official to decide in a split second what the right call is.

That's why officials need help, firstly through video replays and secondly with retrospective bans.

The FFA should have thrown the book at Kilkenny yet nothing was done or said this week about the incident.

It was a terrible look for the A-League yet went unpunished.

In some ways trying to con a referee into getting him to make a decision in your favour is worse than a two-footed tackle, especially if no injury results from a bad challenge.

Two A-League players, Patricio Perez and Michael Baird, were retrospectively banned for diving back in 2010 but that was the last time anything was done.

Sadly the FFA had its chance this week to act again and did nothing.

It has to stop.

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