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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 1, 2007

SFA: We'll use TV to name and shame divers

The Scottish Football Association have revealed ground-breaking plans to clamp down on cheats by handing out retrospective bookings for diving.

Referees will watch recordings of the games they officiate and award yellow cards for incidents of 'simulation' they may have missed.

The initiative will run on an internal trial basis at first before being rolled out on January 1.

From next year, players deemed to have cheated to win a free-kick or get an opponent into trouble will be named and shamed by SFA and be given disciplinary points.

The scheme is the brainchild of SFA chief executive Gordon Smith, who made clear his intentions to stamp out cheating even before he took over from David Taylor this summer.

Smith said on Wednesday: 'I think we all get annoyed when we see it and we see it quite a lot in televised matches.

'So I felt it was time for us to deal with it and the only way possible is to look again retrospectively at the games, because a lot of players are very good at it nowadays and they are not getting caught at the time.

'When you see the game later on or you see it on the replay, that's when you spot it.'

The former Rangers striker is determined to change attitudes towards diving after seeing it become more acceptable among the younger generation.

'I want people to feel this is not a nice way to act on the football field, to be disgusted by it,' Smith said.

'Most people are pretty disgusted by it but there seems to be a culture in our country that has come in now where we think it's okay to do it or people accept it.

'So I think we want to change the behaviour of players first and then after that comes the change of attitude.'

The scheme could also see players having yellow or red cards rescinded if they are found to have been the victim of simulation.

Previously, clubs could only appeal against yellow cards on the grounds of mistaken identity.

'We are going to rescind cards if we find as a result of a simulation case a player is proved to be innocent,' Smith said.

'We are hoping to clear that up before clubs have to appeal.

'There will still be appeals coming in because not all the appeals will be to do with simulation, some of them will just be unfair yellow cards.

'The only aspect of the games the referee will look at again is simulation.'

The SFA will not reveal the results of their pilot scheme, which they are introducing to iron out any potential problems, but Smith may consider making repeat offenders aware of their guilt.

The initiative - unique in the world game according to Smith - was announced in conjunction with UEFA-led guidelines to clean up the game, most notably on jostling at set-pieces.

Referees will be instructed to clamp down on players blocking opponents or pulling shirts in the box by giving more penalties and free-kicks. They will also be told to stamp down on the instigators of mass confrontations, violent conduct - where players use their elbows as 'weapons' - or serious foul play, where players launch reckless challenges which endanger the safety of opponents.

SFA head of referees Don McVicar also asked for understanding over the need for officials to clamp down on goal celebrations where players leave the field to celebrate with fans.

Police have told the SFA and individual referees that they will issue charges unless players are dealt with over the safety issue.

The SFA will meet coaches and managers tomorrow night to brief them on the guidelines before meeting referees.