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Football
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Ferdinand calls for diving crackdown

Former England international Les Ferdinand has urged the Football Association to follow through on proposals to introduce video reviews next season to stamp out divers.

Ferdinand, 46, scored 149 goals while playing for QPR, Newcastle, Tottenham, West Ham, Leicester and Bolton during his career, but claims some of the Premier League's top goalscorers are getting away with too much.

A review system would also allow for yellow cards to be rescinded if a player was booked unfairly for simulation and Ferdinand believes stronger punishments would eliminate diving from the game.

"If you ban these divers for a few matches then that will soon eradicate this problem," Ferdinand said, according to the Sun. "It is becoming part of the game and it really needs to be a problem we are well rid of — and this would help do that.

"Let's face it, diving is rearing its ugly head every week or so. And what we have to do is get back to when people would only go down if they were on the end of a hard tackle."

Despite his condemnation, Ferdinand, a coach at Tottenham, believes some players like Gareth Bale are unfairly treated by referees.

Bale has received five yellow cards for simulation this season, which Ferdinand puts down to his pace, and Ferdinand insists all players should be dealt with equally.

"There is one problem - that is when players are running at such pace that they need to jump out of the way to avoid serious injury," Ferdinand said. "That's a separate issue. So it's about making sure retrospective action just targets the blatant dives. They are the ones we are talking about that need to get stamped out.

"What it would do is send out a real message to the divers. It says: it doesn't matter who you are or who you play for, you have to be banned if you're guilty of diving. I believe most problems in life can be solved by tackling them head on."

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