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Apr 16, 2012

Wenger: Divers should be banned

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes it is time to get tough on divers to stamp it out of the game - and has called for the Football Association to hand out three-match bans.

• Man Utd blog: The dark arts

Questionable penalty decisions in recent weeks, including two won by Ashley Young on successive weekends to earn Manchester United early leads against Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa, have brought the subject of simulation back into the limelight.

Wenger said: "If an obvious dive is punished by a three-match ban, the players would not do it anymore. I would support it. It has to be obvious diving.

"Ashley Young for example against QPR I would not suspend him because I don't know if he has lost his balance. He has made more of it for sure to get the penalty. This is not an obvious case for me.

"Everybody wants to win football games and when you have played football, you always try to be on the fringe if you want to win. For example, you touch the ball and it goes out you shout: 'throw in for us'. Things like that.

"But with a dive in the box, sometimes I think you can only get it out after the game. I think that the foreign players have brought good and bad things. But I must say the English players learn quickly.

"It's impossible to judge today penalties. Penalties and offsides are the main problems for the referees. All the rest you have to give to them. Especially on penalties. For example the dives. Or you say everybody who dives now and is caught after the game is suspended for three games.

"But you have a double obstacle, first of all when the situation has been assessed by the referee, you cannot come back on the judgement of the referee, so it's better you give him video help. We have that famous thing that the judgement of the referee has to be final. But I don't agree with that.

"We should have a superior committee of ethics who could still punish a player like that. Because you go home and you think he now gets away without being suspended and the whole situation doesn't make sense."

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