The cliché “The Beautiful Game” has been used countlessly when Football is spoken of. Even though a cliché, at times the game is rightly described as beautiful. Last year, when Leicester City Football Club broke all the rules and was crowned as the Premier League Champions; that was an amazing thing, truly beautiful.

When we see Gareth Bale carrying a country on his shoulders and doing it successfully, we marvel. See the interplay of the most free-flowing teams like Manchester City, Barcelona, even Liverpool on their day can rightly be described as beauty on display.

We love to see it and it creates wonderful memories.

The Dirty Player

This past season, the subject of Diving has come to the forefront more times than we care to hear. It is one of the biggest stains on the modern beautiful game. The nasty leg breaking tackles, elbows in the face, and other disgraceful challenges seem to have been reduced to a few occurrences within a season.

In the past, an overly crunching tackle would have brought cheers from all corners of a stadium. In today’s game, we don’t want to see those challenges. We don’t want our players suffering a career threatening injury.

An attitude change in the minds of managers, coaches, players and fans has helped to bring about a positive change.

This has culminated in more games of football that are beautiful rather than brutal.

The Dirty Diver

In the last few days, you will have seen a lot of reports in many of the UK based newspapers on the problem of diving in the Premier League. It wouldn’t take you long to list off a long line of top class footballers that have resorted to deceiving the officials to gain an advantage.

If you analyse those occurrences of simulation that have and haven’t been noticed by the officials, you’ll see the repercussions have had major effects on managerial careers and clubs status.

This past weekend, there were 3 highlighted occurrences of simulation.

Two of those involved teams are involved in the current fight to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

When Leroy Sane and Marcus Rashford went down in the penalty area during their respective matches, Manchester City was 1-0 behind and United was being held 0-0.

These two young and flourishing players successfully deceived the official, and subsequently, they were both rewarded with a penalty kick. Eventually, the outcome of both games resulted in a draw, and a point apiece. Yet, it could have been 3 points each to Middlesbrough and Swansea had those simulated dives been noticed by the officials.

How To Clean Up The Game

North of the border in Scotland, they already hand out retrospective judgements when it has been found that players have deceived officials through simulation.

Earlier in the season, Premier League managers spoke optimistically about Retrospective Action.

However, as we all know, to get major law changes to the beautiful game there needs to be acceptance from the PFA, LMA, English Football League and English Premier League.

Most fans would welcome retrospective action, as would players and managers of those teams that have been detrimentally affected by players deceiving officials through diving and simulation.

Whilst we would love to believe that when we all come back from our football detox in August for the start of the 2017/18 season, diving will have been eradicated. However, we know it’s not that simple. Therefore, we need diving to become as disliked as elbows to the face and leg breaking challenges. Only with that sort of attitude change can we clean away this ever growing stain on the Beautiful Game.