VAR will not reverse instances of diving in the box despite controversial cases

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VAR will not reverse instances of diving in the box despite controversial cases in the Premier League

  • Game between Aston Villa and West Ham had a number of talking points 
  • Wesley, Mark Noble and Ryan Fredericks were all looking for penalties 
  • Fans have called for players to be cautioned retrospectively using VAR 
  • Conversely Jack Grealish was punished for a dive last month which looked harsh 

Football’s law-makers will refuse calls to use VAR to crack down on diving in the box, despite simulation continuing to prove a problem in the Premier League.

Monday night’s goalless draw between Aston Villa and West Ham saw several incidents.

Villa’s Wesley threw himself to the ground in stoppage time, while Mark Noble and Ryan Fredericks also went down looking for penalties.

West Ham defender Ryan Fredericks goes down looking for a penalty at Villa Park on Monday

West Ham defender Ryan Fredericks goes down looking for a penalty at Villa Park on Monday 

All three appeared cheap bids to win spot-kicks and while referee Mike Dean was not duped by any of them, he also failed to issue cautions for diving.

As it stands, a player can only be retrospectively punished by VAR for simulation if the referee has awarded a penalty and they notice he was deceived.

Only then will the officials at Stockley Park get involved to tell the official on the pitch to cancel the spot-kick and caution the player for diving.

Mike Dean did not award a penalty but also didn't book three cases of diving in the penalty box

Mike Dean did not award a penalty but also didn’t book three cases of diving in the penalty box

Yet following Monday night’s match at Villa Park, supporters have suggested VAR should be picking up on dives, regardless of whether a penalty is awarded as a result.

IFAB, the game’s lawmakers, ruled that out on Tuesday, saying there have been no discussions about adding that to their VAR protocol.

They are not planning to discuss including it, either.

Jack Grealish was incandescent after being booked for diving which cost Villa an equaliser

Jack Grealish was incandescent after being booked for diving which cost Villa an equaliser 

PGMOL insiders say the alleged dives in the Villa-West Ham match were not clear cut, while there appears to have been a change in approach to simulation in recent weeks.

It follows the backlash from Villa’s 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace last month, when Jack Grealish was judged to have dived. Plenty felt that decision at Selhurst Park was incorrect and harsh.

That incident has muddied the waters, according to one source, and referees will now only book a player for simulation if they are 100 per cent certain he tried to deceive him.

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