The 2010 World Cup has been a pretty poor sporting event to watch from a North American perspective, not very high scoring, very little cheer about, the officiating has been poor, important goals called back or not even noticed and don’t get me started on the Vuvuzelas.
With all that said, the worst aspect of World Cup soccer has been the diving. I can’t stand these prissy bitches who whine and complain for 90 minutes. The action is identical each game:
- They kick a ball around until they find an opportunity to run with it
- They run up field into a defender
- Once contact is made, they flop on the ground
- Slowly get up staring at the ref the whole time
- If needed, raise both arms in disbelief
- If awarded a free kick, get up and walk it off, be sure wince
- If not awarded a free kick, get up slowly, look shocked.
Today, while watching Portugal lose to Spain I couldn’t help but to feel bad for Ricardo Costa who got a red card with 11 minutes left in the game. Take a look at the replay, do you think this Spaniard actually got hit in the face here? You can park a truck between these two, yet the Spaniard acts like he just punched in the face.
Italy’s Daniele De Rossi dive from the group stage action, this looks more like he was taken down by a sniper.
How about this Gem from Kader Keita of the Ivory Coast during a group stage game against Brazil. Kaka got a red card for this. (Sorry about the crap video, FIFA appears to be getting all “copyrighty” with these game action clips, red card is at 48 seconds in.)
Now, I know the hardcore soccer fans out there will defend each dive noted above, but these are just the worst of the worst, every 10 minutes of a soccer game I see a player fall over nothing, I swear soccer teams have drama coaches on the sidelines. I have European friends who have gone out of their way to explain how diving is simply part of the game? It sounds like cheating to me.
I’m a hockey player, I understand the dive and how it can be used to manipulate games, and naturally hockey sees it’s fair share of diving too. However, the NHL evolves with the times has instituted a couple rules against diving in the league. The most important one being that players can be fined and suspended after the game, if the league feels a player embellished a hit even if the refs missed it during the action. Check it out in the official rule book, do you think we might see less diving in World Cup soccer if the player knew he could be fined or suspended? Better hire better drama coaches is probably how soccer would respond.
Just for good measure, here is an example of embellishment in hockey.