With the world’s most popular game increasingly being plagued by the controversial act of “Diving,” it can have far more reaching consequences than just disappointing the fans; it can potentially even affect our society.
The term “Diving” is used to describe a moment in football when a player acts as if he has been fouled or hurt in order to trick the referee into giving a foul in the player’s favor. This act is not only still seeing success even at a time when VAR (Video Assistant Referee) exists but is also becoming increasingly more common.
Only recently, in the Semi-final of the Euro Cup between England and Denmark, the English player Raheem Sterling was accused of “Diving” to win his team a penalty in the dying moments of the game, which led to England’s victory.
Even in such an important match, in one of the game’s biggest tournaments, the despicable act allowed one team to snatch victory from another that deserved a fair chance to compete.
🗣️''The joy and emotion of the goal was so big that it cured him'' 😂
-Bonucci on Immobile's dive pic.twitter.com/WbeKh3xq8D
— Football Talk (@FootballTalkHQ) July 6, 2021
Some of the game’s most popular players are even known for their exceptional acting skills when taking “Dives”. The Brazilian superstar Neymar earned the title of “Dolphin” from fans worldwide for often “Diving” on the pitch.
The act is, however, a more recent one. In the ’90s, the game was seen as going through its “Attitude Era” (a term borrowed from pro-wrestling) when players were famous for their “tough guy” personas refusing to stay down.
Now that is all in the distant past, since nowadays, if a player even slightly touches another, they instantly take to the ground as if having suffered a life-threatening injury.
This not only removes any concept of honor from the game, but it also makes any victory meaningless since wins are secured not from skill and hard work but rather trickery and deceit.
However, the main issue is not that it ruins the game’s image; it is how these affect the fans, especially the younger ones who are more easily impressed upon.
To many around the world, football is not just a game; it is a religion. Children have posters of their favorite players in their rooms, buy their shirts and merchandise, and aspire to be just like them.
It becomes especially worrying when the idols of these children teach them that it is acceptable to do whatever necessary to achieve victory even if it mains committing unfair acts full of deceit.
The players are not even answerable to anyone; even if they commit a blatant “Dive,” there is no official mechanism to punish them after the game. So much so that there is a popular rumor among football fans that the biggest teams hire acting coaches to teach players how to “Dive” more convincingly.
It is truly a sad state of affairs that we now have an entire generation of children growing up following idols who teach them moral degeneracy rather than being honest, hard-working members of society.