Following a period of consultation with stakeholders over the past few months, the FA Council today approved a regulation change – dive and get banned.
The new offence of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’ will be in force from the start of the 2017-18 season
Where there is clear and overwhelming evidence to suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation, and as a direct result, the offending player’s team has been awarded a penalty and/or an opposing player has been dismissed, The FA will be able to act retrospectively under its Fast Track system.
Where retrospective action could be taken:
Where an alleged act leads to a penalty
Where an alleged act leads to a straight red card for an opponent
Where an alleged act leads to a dismissal of an opponent [where the alleged act led to the opponent receiving either one of the two cautions
A panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player will be asked to review all available video footage of the incident independently of one another and then advise The FA as to whether they believe it was an offence of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’. Only in circumstances where the panel are unanimous would The FA charge the individual concerned.
This process would be similar to the one used now for a red card offence [violent conduct/serious foul play/spitting at an opponent] which was not seen at the time by the match officials but caught on camera. In this situation, three ex-elite match officials review all the available video footage independently of one another and then advise The FA as to whether they believe it was an offence worthy of instant dismissal.
In accepted and/or proven cases of simulation and/or feigning injury, the offending player would receive a two-match suspension.
Although attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled is a cautionable offence for unsporting behaviour, the fact that the act of simulation has succeeded in deceiving a match official and, therefore, led to a penalty and/or dismissal, justifies a more severe penalty which would act as a deterrent.
Should a charge of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’ be admitted or found proven, the Independent Regulatory Commission will have the power to rescind the caution or dismissal received by the opposing player as a result of the simulation if it chooses to do so.
The Fast Track system for dealing with incidents retrospectively, which was brought in by The FA for the start of the 2004-05 season, enables disciplinary cases to be dealt with prior to the offending player’s next competitive game.