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Oct 8, 2012

Luis Suarez 'diving' debate continues

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez "goes down too easily" and is making decisions hard for referees, former Reds defender Alan Hansen told the BBC on Monday.

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis on Sunday said the English Football Association should punish Suarez for what Pulis says was a dive in the goalless draw at Anfield on Sunday.

"There's no doubt about it that he goes down very, very easily," Hansen told BBC Sport. "The English game is littered with players who go down easily."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, however, said the comments about Suarez's diving draw attention away from the on-field incident Sunday involving Suarez.

"At this moment there seems to be one set of rules for Luis and another set for everyone else," Rodgers told liverpoolfc.com. "I find it incredible that in nearly all the coverage about Luis Suarez this weekend, very little focus has been placed on the fact that he was actually the victim of a stamping incident within the first five minutes of the game."

During the 0-0 draw at home to Stoke, Suarez went down theatrically in the penalty area which led to Potters manager Pulis to call for three-match bans for players who dive. Defender Huth has, however, escaped punishment despite appearing to stamp on Suarez after the FA confirmed the incident was seen by officials at the time and therefore no further action can be taken.

Only a couple of weeks ago Pulis felt the need not only to speak out publicly about the treatment the Uruguay international was receiving on the pitch but also to raise the subject with referees' chief Mike Riley.

Suarez, who scored a hat trick in the 5-2 win at Norwich, has been at the center of more allegations of diving following an incident in the second half when he fell threatrically.

"Retrospective decisions are made on a Monday by the FA and they should be looking at this. Give him three games and he will stop falling over," said Pulis, whose team is 12th. "The one in the penalty box was an embarrassment and how he wasn't booked I don't know."

"I thought Suarez again today...I've been on about people falling over and the one incident in the second half...it's an embarrassment being a professional footballer (and doing that)," Pulis said.

"He's a fantastic player, he's got great ability and he is the one player we were frightened to death of today, but doing things like that...

"What happens is that he puts pressure on the referee and every time he goes down you've got 40,000 Liverpool fans getting after the ref and I don't think that's right," Pulis said.

"I am concerned about the simulation and putting pressure on the ref. It's a tough enough job as it is. For professional footballers to be doing that is just not right and the PFA should start talking about it."

The Uruguay international has earned a reputation, during his relatively short time in English football, for going down too easily, but Rodgers insists that was not the case.

Less than two weeks ago the Reds boss raised his concerns about how referees were not giving decisions in Suarez's favor, having been frustrated by what he felt were clear penalties against Sunderland and Manchester United being overlooked.

"He hasn't dived, they have been legitimate," Rodgers said at the time.

"He went down at Sunderland and it looked a clear penalty and he ended up getting booked for it. I'm not sure (whether Suarez's reputation is influencing officials). You'd need to ask the referees but he is a wonderful talent and, irrespective of whether he goes down, if it's a penalty, it's a penalty.

"What I have seen he certainly doesn't ever look like he is going to get a decision and that is something which would bother me going forward."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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