The Ashley Young debate: Is diving worse than a two footed lunge?

Former referee Graham Poll has called for Ashley Young to be banned for five matches.

Young has been the subject of much criticism today after picking up a yellow card for a dive to try and win Manchester United a penalty in the weekend win against Crystal Palace.

It’s something David Moyes has done well to address quickly, suggesting it will be dealt with in house but former ref Poll has called for the winger to be banned after trying to con referee, Jon Moss.

“Ashley Young is a cheat and he should be banned for FIVE games — then he might stop diving to try and con referees. Both his past and present Manchester United managers have admitted he goes to ground far too easily and do not condone such actions,” writes Poll in the Daily Mail.

Unfortunately diving and trying to force the referee into making decisions are part of the modern game but any example made out of Young, or any other problem in the future is fraught with potential problems.

Setting a precedent means that the Premier League and FA would have to stick by the example they make.

Considering how many players across the Premier League and Football League dive every single week, there could be situations where bans of varying lengths are popping up all the time for simulation.

That creates problem because there won’t be equality. If one player is banned five matches for diving, there will be uproar when another gets a second yellow card for simulation in a game and is banned for just a single match.

It’s also highly contentious that simulation is a worse offence than a player launching into a two footed challenge before being shown a straight red card.

There have been numerous examples in football where players have picked up severe injuries, and in some cases had their careers ended, because of poorly time tackles with deliberate intentions to cause harm.

If the Premier League and FA set their stall out with hefty bans for diving, the severity of bans and punishments for poor tackles, violent behaviour and abusive behaviour will all have to increase.

Surely a three match ban for a straight red card after breaking someone's leg shouldn't be a lesser punishment than a player trying to win a free kick or penalty.

“Therefore in cases of undisputed diving, whether punished on the field or not, why not impose a five match ban? I believe that would have a much better effect than the managerial word,” added Poll.

There is no doubt that we all want to see a purer brand of football in the Premier League. A brand where diving isn’t an issue, where players don’t try and get each other booked and a game without poor tackles.

However, the FA, Premier League or any other governing body need to think long and hard before making that first example out of someone for diving.

What do you think? Should Young be banned? Is diving worse than a dangerous tackle?

image: © nasmac

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