Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Time to Punish the Cheats

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Time to Punish the Cheats

Article excerpt

Cheat, Cheat Cheat....

That is a popular cry from the crowd when a referee makes a decision which the fans don't like - even if it is a correct one.

It is the chant that really angers the refs, because some Italian and German referees apart, I believe that the officials (certainly in this country) while guilty of making decisions that are not always correct, are honest.

Can that be said of some of the players? Most definitely not! In a week ironically when Boro fans website comeonboro.com launches its "Cheat of the week" column we saw last Sunday another example of a player blatantly diving to win a penalty.

The ref was conned and therefore he has to take some of the blame, but these players are getting so good at it, that without the benefit of action replays they are going to win some awards by their cheating.

Harry Redknapp comes out with the old chestnut of the fourth official having the benefit of a pitch side television to help with the decision.

One day that might happen, but I personally hope not. We could turn football into American football, with time-outs galore.

And someone would surely sell that time on TV for advertising and the fast and furious game we love would be killed.

Anyway, not all cases are clear cut. Our television pundits cannot agree on some decisions several hours later with the benefit of scores of angles.

The answer is much simpler to me. Every Monday a panel should examine incidents such as these and guilty players should then retrospectively be given bans.

If the powers that be seriously want to rid the game of this cancer, then these bans should be tough.

Chris Foy will almost certainly not be given a Premiership game next time around, but I bet Zakora will be playing for Spurs.

Foy will lose a match fee, the player will pick up his wages. …

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