Comment: FA's decision to charge Niasse makes an uncomfortable rod for their own backs

It almost seems as though the Football Association has gone out of its way to make life as difficult for itself as possible with their decision to charge Oumar Niasse with “successful deception of a match official” in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.

Lyndon Lloyd 21/11/2017 87comments  |  Jump to last

It almost seems as though the Football Association has gone out of its way to make life as difficult for itself as possible with their decision to charge Oumar Niasse with “successful deception of a match official” in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.

They have also done little to dispel the notion that there is one rule for some and another for the rest. After all, there can’t be many people who wouldn’t bet a sizeable amount that had it been someone like Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero or some other media darling who had gone down like that under contact from Scott Dann, the FA would be sitting on their hands right now.

Because there was contact from Dann; this wasn’t an incident where a player has simulated contact in the way that Bernardo Silva appeared to do in Manchester City’s home game with Burnley earlier this season – no surprise that a player of a top-six club was cleared of “diving” – or Glenn Murray's blatant embellishment against Stoke last night.

Whether there was sufficient contact to produce the fall that followed is, of course, at the root of the debate and the answer is probably “no”; there was a degree of “simulation” involved, but his run was impeded nonetheless and some would argue he was “entitled to go down”.

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Still, the FA’s decision opens an whole can of worms that they may well come to regret the next time a penalty or foul decision like this affects one of the top clubs.

In creating this grey area around contact between players — something already under threat, it would appear, based on Mike Dean’s weak decision to award Arsenal the free kick that led to their opening goal against Arsenal at the weekend — they have probably spawned yet more hours of micro-analysis of decisions by television pundits that question the judgement of match officials and the credibility of the game’s governing body.

You would hope that the club will successfully appeal the decision and that such decisions will be restricted to more overt acts of clear diving to win penalties in future but I wouldn’t hold your breath. As sure as day follows night, an Everton player will be the first charged under the new guidelines against simulation; you hope, almost certainly in vain, that some consistency will follow.

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Reader Comments (87)

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Steve Ferns
1 Posted 21/11/2017 at 16:54:20
We can only hope, Lyndon. Sadly, I fear the FA will make an example of our Oumar. Let's hope Moshiri gets the appeal in on time and we put forward as good a case as has been argued on the other two threads.
Stan Schofield
2 Posted 21/11/2017 at 18:41:00
Taking action against Niasse is fine in principle, provided there's consistency subsequently. Otherwise, it's just hypocrisy and politics.
Paul Birmingham
4 Posted 21/11/2017 at 19:37:59
Typical luck, and not helped by the infamous AH K t T, mouthing off from a far.

He’s the last ex referee whom should be voicing comment, his record in our games v the RS and others was an embarrassment, so if EFC gets fined surely the officials, the refs adjudication committee and the FA should be fined.

This takes the state of the game into new murky waters and further underlines the FAs lack of vision and integrity?

Guy Hastings
6 Posted 21/11/2017 at 19:44:02
Who officially refers the decision to review to the FA (apart from the tabs, Sky and MOTD)? Is it the officals' mea culpa (I suspect not)?

Give it five years and we'll be looking like the NFL – three hours to complete a 90-minute game.

Jack Convery
7 Posted 21/11/2017 at 21:25:21
He won't get off with this as the wonderful self-elected Shearer, Neville and Carragher amongst them have already hung, drawn and quatered him, so the FA won't let this go without a conviction.

Unfortunately for us, those who accuse him are totally guiltless in there own careers. Take Shearer, not once did he con a ref, nor did Neville or Carragher – all angels every single one of them. How did these three react I wonder when Michael Monotone Owen, threw himself over the Argentian defender's legs to get England a penalty which Beckham duly scored? Bloody hypocrites the lot of them.

I hope Newcastle don't win the Cup with a penalty following a dive – where would Shearer put his face? I wonder if Carragher ever told Suarez, "Stop it, you're making us look like cheats" ...or if Neville ever said to Ronaldo, "Christiano, stop falling over for fuck's sake!"

I can see a siege mentality building up around Goodison and god help the footballer who dives next at Goodison because he and the ref will get in spades.

Angry of Southport.

Frank Wade
8 Posted 21/11/2017 at 22:26:58
As Steve Ferns quite rightly points out on the other thread, there are two distinct types of diving:

1. Where there is no contact whatsoever.

2. Where there is contact however slight, not enough to bowl a player over, but which may not be spotted by the referee and the likes of Shearer, Neville, and Carragher have long argued that, in this instance, 'the player was entitled to go down'.

I would add:

3. The contact is initiated by the attacking player. The first I saw at this was Steve Archibold, could he have been playing for Barcelona in the Steau Bucharest European Cup final? Fabregas was also a skilled exponent of this, where he runs at a player and kicks the leg of the defender before falling. The ref hears the contact and awards the penalty.

Another would be Slippy G in the derby where he asked his mate Clattenberg to upgrade yellow to red for Hibbo, where he threw his right leg out at 90 degree angle, as you do.

We could argue that Niasse was a case of No 2 and I would agree, but I would add a fourth category in this instance. It is clear from our limited viewing of the player, that his balance is not of Olympic standard and he often falls over and loses balance. So, in defence of the appeal, we can show up with a long reel of video showing our Oumar falling to the ground as he loses his balance.

I admit to being extremely biased watching Everton games, but I felt last Saturday that Palace players were going down at the feeblest of contact throughout the game. If we are to implement this anti-diving act, I am completely behind it, but it requires full implementation and in this latest case, 5 or 6 Palace players would also be charged from last Saturday.

Big downside here is that the likes of Dann and the rest can be assured that Niasse will never again be awarded a penalty. Open season, as in the Andy Johnson days.

Steve Ferns
9 Posted 21/11/2017 at 22:46:09
Wasn't me, Frank, though I do agree with that!
Jack Convery
10 Posted 21/11/2017 at 22:48:19
Frank, I agree – Andy Johnson never got a penalty after Wenger's Wingeing – he's a clever player. Robert Pires, anybody? As I said before... hypocrites the lot of them.

I also agree and argued in work today that Niasse is like a new born foal at times when he runs into the box with defenders all around him. He fell over when he scored v Watford and the goalie was injured – in retrospect he probably meant it and took the goalie out for good measure.

The cheats are the FA who pick on the teams outside those they are scared to death of. Why can't we get an FA Chairman with some balls for a change – and I mean 'balls' as in 'courage'. Too many FA people have the other type of balls and concentrate their efforts on scratching them.

Andrew James
11 Posted 21/11/2017 at 22:48:20
Us Evertonians don't have a recent history of getting decisions in our favour nor having cheats at the club. To re-open old wounds, we've fallen foul of incompetent officialdom or cheating – FA Cup final booking, 2007 Derby, the Rodwell red card, League cup semi, wow even the penalty against us in the 1995 cup run was dodgy. There are many others.

We've had violent players who have done things which are not acceptable but most of the time, they haven't got away with it and other times they were punished based on reputation – Fellaini and Ferguson. There have been some signs – probably since Martinez was in charge – that certain players might go over too easily, Deulofeu being a prime example. But we are not renowned for it like players at other clubs.

Which is why it grates even more that Niasse has been charged. There was contact. Yes, he makes a meal of it but context is needed: he's a clumsy player. Personally I didn't like seeing it from an Everton player but I've seen much worse on a regular basis from other teams and nothing was done.

I think the FA have decided to set a precedent because we are not in the media propaganda narrative and they'll get less focus on it and there's no high profile manager to bitterly complain. Fine, but if I see Dele Alli or Aguero going down similarly this season and there's no punishment, it will go to show that the FA are corrupt. As if we needed another example.

Mike Keating
12 Posted 21/11/2017 at 22:57:40
From the referee's angle it looked a definite penalty. Shearer and Neville, with the benefit of a different viewpoint and slow motion, are convinced it was a dive.

Where you stand depends on where you sit.

Niasse is easy meat – let's see the FA take on the serial offenders here... They won't dare.

Bob Parrington
13 Posted 21/11/2017 at 23:02:20
There is clear intent to impede by Dann as he steps across Oumar's path with no intent to play the ball. Goal scoring opportunity. Nailed on penalty. Well done Ref!
Chad Schofield
14 Posted 21/11/2017 at 23:37:01
The FA are a disgrace. They're trying to make themselves look good because of the recent negative press they've received. As others have said, there are clearer high profile players who have 'simulated' contact.

Niasse had contact, perhaps he should spuriously bring out the race card to get it swept under the carpet.

John Pierce
15 Posted 21/11/2017 at 00:05:34
Guy, 3. Dead right mate, reviewing in game decisions made both in real time and with context is pointless.

9/10 a ref wouldn’t give that penalty in real time, he’d apply common sense, despite contact. But on review you apply the law with no interpretation. As there is contact thats all that is required. On review a pen 10/10 times.

Video review is only useful for matters of fact, not interpretation. Otherwise you get the NFL, as you rightly point out. Flows like concrete.

Nicholas Ryan
16 Posted 22/11/2017 at 00:09:04
I'm bemused by the charge of "successful" deception of the referee. Presumably, if you go down like a shot stag, but 4 yards from the nearest defender, leading only to the home crowd laughing at you; you have committed no offence!!
Jason Wilkinson
17 Posted 22/11/2017 at 00:21:44
"Successful deception of a referee."

FFS, Clattenberg must have thought LFC are the Scientologists. He was deceived by them his entire Premier League career.

I hope the FA are successful as they will be asking FIFA to change the laws in a week so they stop looking like the bunch of stupid cunts they are.

Colin Gee
18 Posted 22/11/2017 at 00:39:26
Well that's us not getting anymore penalties again this season

Remember when Wenger called Andy Johnson a diver? I don't think we got another penalty for about 18 months. No matter how many times he got fouled in the box, the seed was sown...

Clive Mitchell
19 Posted 22/11/2017 at 01:34:28
What a bloody joke the FA is. This is the daftest intervention they've ever made, and their chances of managing this arrangement consistently are nil. It won't last till the end of the season.
Paul Kelly
20 Posted 22/11/2017 at 03:25:36
It comes to asking questions when one of the worst referees ever in Premier League History, one-sided, anti-Everton, RS-siding, "change a decision because my mate asked me to", "all the way from Dubai, for fuck's sake gets involved in a blatant obvious penalty decision against one of our players, doesn't it? Or am I wrong?

I predict a riot very soon.

Christine Foster
21 Posted 22/11/2017 at 04:50:05
All the Everton players should bend the knee in protest at the next game. Bring the game into disrepute would be next...
Jay Woods
22 Posted 22/11/2017 at 07:17:22
Why stop at Niasse's simulation?

Can we have our last-minute winner at Anfield (the "Westerveld" goal) retrospectively granted, seeing that the ref that night pretended the game was over when it went in?

And the League Cup final of 1984, where Alan Hansen handled the ball... Can we have at the least a replay?

The FA talk about players and managers bringing the game into disrepute, but they're becoming quite skilled at doing so themselves.

James Lauwervine
23 Posted 22/11/2017 at 09:13:03
Because of this whole situation, I just searched up and re-read an old article from 2011 that I wrote on divers. It's rather rambling, not directly relevant, and filled with annoying question marks, but I wrote it because I was concerned we had a number of divers in the team and it was becoming embarrassing. In case anyone fancies a read: –

I have never considered Niasse a diver and am disgusted that he has been singled ou,t by the way.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 22/11/2017 at 09:34:24
Jay (#22) that last-minute goal (and it was a goal) was at Goodison Park. Distin's was at Anfield as was Wayne Clarke's. There was about three hooky decisions in the Clattenberg Derby at Goodison, there are dozens more and that is just in Everton / Liverpool games.
Jay Woods
25 Posted 22/11/2017 at 09:37:45
Thanks for that Dave, I seem to have a lot of cog fog when thinking about Everton's past!
Charlie Lloyd
26 Posted 22/11/2017 at 09:46:44
Was it contact? Yes

Did the defender play the ball? No

Was the strikers reaction a bit theoratical? Yes

That’s the key questions. It wasn’t a simulation because there was contact.

An unbelievably poor decision and, I agree, sets the bar high.

We will all watch the games now and feel even more disgruntled as players who blatantly cheat go without punishment.

James Lauwervine
27 Posted 22/11/2017 at 09:57:45
Actually forget the article, the comments are much more interesting. eg: 'Bring in an honesty system for divers. When a player goes down the ref asks him if he dived. If the player says no and after the game the cameras show he did ban him for 3 games. Managers would soon be telling players not to dive.'
Derek Thomas
28 Posted 22/11/2017 at 10:24:04
Christine@ 21; great idea, add Unsworth and we have a 'dirty dozen' team bonding moment par excellence, pictures of which will go around the world... and they can have Niasse tees on underneath for the goalscorers (if and when – this is The Ev here).
Brent Stephens
29 Posted 22/11/2017 at 10:30:46
"Was it contact? Yes. Did the defender play the ball? No".

But don't we need to ask more than that? As contact, without playing the ball, isn't necessarily a foul. I'm not saying this clearly wasn't a foul. But there is more to it than just asking whether there was contact without playing the ball.

Ray Jacques
30 Posted 22/11/2017 at 11:21:57
All this debate has meant we have all appeared to have forgotten we don't have a permanent manager in place and there are no rumours as to who it may be. Continuing the conspiracy theories perhaps it is a cunning collusion between Bill and the FA to take our minds off our current predicament!!
Brian Harrison
31 Posted 22/11/2017 at 11:29:37
I had to laugh last night Gary Lineker tweeted: "Robert Mugabe resigns; big Sam a leading candidate to take over."
Ernie Baywood
32 Posted 22/11/2017 at 11:43:42
If they're going to decide that it was a dive in the sense that he wasn't impeded then they'll make themselves look foolish, and open themselves up to every manager trying to get opposition players banned.

If they're trying to clamp down on the 'throwing yourself to the ground upon contact' epidemic then I'm all for it. Yes, it's unlucky that it's an Everton player getting the first application of the rule but it had to be one team – whoever it was would feel aggrieved.

That said, we've seen these kind of things before. They make an example and then stop.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 22/11/2017 at 12:11:42
Ray (30) while Kenwright is part of our club there will always be a predicament: Always.
John Raftery
34 Posted 22/11/2017 at 12:20:50
The fact that almost a third of the season has elapsed before the FA saw fit to bring the first such charge is surely an indication of the integrity and sense of fair play which drives players In the modern game, especially those who play for the top clubs. Only those struggling at the foot of the table would dream of resorting to such underhand tactics as simulation. That anybody should dare suggest that Vardy, Hazard, Sterling and Alli would ever follow suit is something I find quite reprehensible.

At the game from a vantage point seventy yards away behind Niasse's run I thought he had taken a nudge which threw him off balance. The TV footage from the other end, slowed down, makes it look as though he dived after contact. If he is found guilty of simulation in this instance it should remove forever the concept of players being 'entitled' to go down after 'contact'. This could mark the beginning of the end of penalties for fouls inside the area.

Alan Bodell
35 Posted 22/11/2017 at 12:59:08
Since the Moyes era here I think Everton have been probably the least likely to simulation acts, only Ross a few times last season I can't think of any others and when you think of the so called 'Big 6' and their prima donna dramatics this charge is absolutely pathetic.
They never would have started this on any of those teams as Mourenio, Wenger et al would have gone to war on them so no, they choose us with a rookie in charge to start this cycle which I seriously hope will be looked at weekly to see it continue irrespective of which club's players are guilty or not, somehow I think this long standing bias will prevail.
Alan Bodell
36 Posted 22/11/2017 at 13:07:49
John (#34), Vardy won Leicester the league with his successful deception of match officials, we know he's done us among many others that season.
Alex Mullan
37 Posted 22/11/2017 at 13:08:00
In what other industry do those responsible get to pick and choose who to reprimand on a whim?

This is like 10 men being caught drink-driving and the police only deciding to pursue one of them.

I'm absolutely fine if they try to charge Niasse for this just as long as they go back to September and retrospectively charge everyone who has deemed to have dived.

Can of fucking worms ahoy!

James Marshall
38 Posted 22/11/2017 at 13:12:30
Every team has players that dive so complaining is a bit pointless really. Niasse dived and these are the new rules.

It should help in stopping it from happening.

Alex Mullan
39 Posted 22/11/2017 at 13:16:48
James (#38),

That's well and good but it's outrageous of the FA to sit on their hands doing nothing with these new rules and then suddenly target a player for no apparent additional reason other than "Oh, that's the rule." Was it the rule when Deli Alle was caught out? Will he get a retrospective ban too?

Tony Everan
40 Posted 22/11/2017 at 13:47:43
Frank Wade (No 3),

Jamie Vardy has been winning penalties for years by initiating contact and leg-dangling.

The grey area here is slightly whiter?

Roy Noon
41 Posted 22/11/2017 at 13:58:02
Why now? Why has the FA (in their wisdom) decided to act upon this "deception" rule now? We are over a third of the way through the season (or thereabouts). There have been any number of blatant examples of deception and simulation, many without any contact and many in the penalty area. Certainly far more clear-cut examples than Niasse's stumble, whether it was overly theatric or not.

I hate to sound paranoiac about this, but, assuming I am correct in saying the rule was in place from the start of the season, I am pretty certain from Day 1 cases of apparent deception where available for all to see and there for the FA to take action against. So I say again... why now?

Derek Thomas
42 Posted 22/11/2017 at 14:33:49
Ray @ 41; because they made a big song and dance on MotD... nothing more, nothing less.


John McFarlane [Snr]
43 Posted 22/11/2017 at 14:38:54
After viewing the Niasse penalty incident a few times, I have come to the conclusion that there was contact, but in my opinion, not enough to cause Niasse to fall.

I will nail my colours to the mast and say, I abhor the feigning of an injury in order to have an opponent dismissed, the diving in the area in order to secure a penalty kick, which is what Niasse is accused of, and the constant appeals from players for decisions that they are blatantly not entitled to. I place the blame on the FA, the Clubs, and the media for the situation we are now faced with.

I haven't read the laws of the game for a long time, and when I did, I suspect that it was an abridged version. As I recall, when it came to refereeing matters (for example, a penalty decision), it read 'In the opinion of the referee'. Now, in the 'opinion of the referee' on Saturday, it was a penalty, and I feel that all the new ruling has done is to undermine the authority of the referee.

I place the blame on the Clubs in as much as, if they have players who show a tendency to cheat, they should stamp down on such behaviour. I believe, although I have no way of proving it, that players are actually encouraged to con the referees.

This business of "if they feel contact they are entitled go down" is, in my opinion, entrenched in the game, and you've even got ex-professionals condoning it. What was once a contact sport is rapidly becoming a non-contact sport, and in future the penalty law which I believe is law 12, will read, 'In the opinion of Sky Sports One" and ratified by a panel of puffed-up ex-professional footballers, this decision is final.

Peter Cummings
44 Posted 22/11/2017 at 14:51:23
I always thought that the ref's decision was final, right or wrong, so the fact that retrospective action can now be taken by the proven fools who run the FA against (alleged) 'divers' can now, question their competence as referees, who are, after all, appointed by them.

The big danger of this lunatic law is that the said fools who run the the game could render any goal or penalty scored null and void after the game is over, further making a mockery of the game itself and affecting 'death or glory' ie, promotion, relegation, cup, etc results.

This great game of ours is fast becoming farcical in many ways because of incompetence, corruption, and greed at all levels from Fifa down and, as always, the fans are the losers.

John Pierce
45 Posted 22/11/2017 at 15:05:49
Most posters recognise the penalty was soft and that Niasse exaggerated the contact. Maybe that tells you the player too thought the contact was insufficient, he'd lost control of the ball and opted to go down?

Contact doesn't rule out diving nor it not being a foul. Every tackle has some element of contact. Did that take away his ability to retain possession? No, the ball was miles away.

As for the FA, if you chose to review items which are not matter of fact, then good luck to ya. Any tackle is made up of several contextual issues. Speed, distance, angle etc. Then you do make it almost impossible. Any panel cannot replicate those elements.

In fact, slow motion often distorts the issue and it's not reviewing like with like.

A nice distraction whilst we still have no-one in charge .

Clive Mitchell
46 Posted 22/11/2017 at 15:10:32
The logic of this, as has been pointed out by others, is absurd. According to the FA, and let's be clear about that, Niasse is punished severely because the referee is incompetent; had the referee been competent it would have been a yellow card. What an absolute farce.
Rob Halligan
47 Posted 22/11/2017 at 15:35:09
What a farce. The FA have rejected Everton's appeal against the charge of simulation, and Niasse now has to serve a two-match ban. What is the fucking point of having the chance to appeal if they reject that appeal?
Pete Clarke
48 Posted 22/11/2017 at 15:39:14
In his defence, Everton should send them some videos of Niasse in general play. He stumbles and falls over all the time and mostly when nobody is near him. Poor lad must feel like the world is on his back.

The FA are making a big error here though as it should have been announced to all that cheating would be punished. Typical that they pick on us though!!

Alan J Thompson
49 Posted 22/11/2017 at 15:47:48
What is it that the FA are trying to stamp out? Diving that results in a penalty or a sending off of an opposition player? If they really want to stamp it out then it must include all such instances wherever on the field – otherwise, it reeks of duplicity in itself.

I look forward to them giving reasons why other such examples have not been acted upon and how many three-man panels they will have to employ to get rid of the backlog.

Rob Halligan
50 Posted 22/11/2017 at 15:55:40
Sorry, I've not looked into this properly. The independent panel to consider the appeal met today and decided to uphold the decision. I thought they were meeting tomorrow.
Roy Noon
51 Posted 22/11/2017 at 16:02:57
Having taken a quick peek of the FA website, they say the incident was referred to them – they don't say by whom?

They also say that all 3 members of the panel have to be in agreement with regard to the deception. So, this was obviously the case with Niasse, with the original and appeal hearing.

So, therefore are we saying that no other instances of deception have been referred to the FA? And if any other instances have, presumably the panel have not been in unanimous agreement as to simulation?

I must admit, I find this whole matter perplexing? Or perhaps, just rotten to the core?

James Lauwervine
52 Posted 22/11/2017 at 16:15:26
An absolute disgrace. Trial by Match of the Fucking Day. What a bunch of cowards the FA are.

Football is so rotten to the core, it is untrue. After the ridiculous play-acting and cheating shite we have witnessed in the Premier League for years from countless players, for Niasse to now forever be branded as the first Premier League player to be charged with diving leave me incredulous. It is a slur on our club. I am totally disgusted at this.

Michael Lynch
53 Posted 22/11/2017 at 16:38:24
Incredible. There was contact, so if Niasse is guilty, then a precedent has been set which should see several players banned most weeks in the Premier League. As others have said, why has nobody been banned before, if Niasse's fall counts as simulation? There's no way in the world he's the first Premier League player this season to be fouled and make a meal of it.

Everton need to flag up to the FA – and to the BBC -– every single incident in every Premier League game that meets the same criteria for a ban.

Tony Mace
54 Posted 22/11/2017 at 16:40:36
Below excerpt from BBC online match commentary

16:22 18 Nov

YELLOW CARD - Mamadou Sakho

Blatant pull back on Calvert-Lewin as he tried to break

Can someone tell me why Sakho isn't facing charges? Ref gave him yellow when it should have been red!

Successful deception of a match official? Or was it the referee simply getting it wrong?

The FA cant have it both ways.

Can a referee hide behind "Successful deception of a match official" every time they make a mistake.

Shame on the FA – Again

Ajay Gopal
55 Posted 22/11/2017 at 16:57:41
Shameful verdict, can Everton appeal this in a court of law?
Lee Mandaracas
56 Posted 22/11/2017 at 17:30:15
Déjà vu! We are on the receiving end and there will be a lot of talk but zero action this weekend when similar or worse happens. Especially if it happens to one of the media darlings. Makes me sick to the pit of my stomach but that is the most aptly-named acronym in world football for you unless you're outside the top six, the FA!
Steve Cotton
57 Posted 22/11/2017 at 17:47:01
Can we not appeal this to UEFA in the first instance then FIFA after that?
Lev Vellene
58 Posted 22/11/2017 at 17:51:57
Tony (#54),

I think the rule is something like they can only review a decision that was not already penalized by a yellow card, ie, something the referee did not see at the time. I never paid much attention, as I assumed they'd never bother if it was against Everton...

Steve Carse
59 Posted 22/11/2017 at 19:16:11
Appalling. Let's not forget either that Niasse didn't even appeal for the penalty award!
Simon Dalzell
61 Posted 22/11/2017 at 19:26:19
It was an obvious 'sly' foul. Niasse went down fairly easily but who doesn't, and right or wrong, if there is contact, this is widely accepted. Compare this incident with some of the blatant dives that are just punished with a yellow card, and it really doesn't make any sense.

Absolutely sure that Aguero etc would not be charged. Scandalous decision against an honest player.

Dick Fearon
62 Posted 22/11/2017 at 20:04:30
I look with interest at how this latest ruling develops. 'Diving' had reached plague proportions and barely a game did not provide examples of it. Something needed to be done about it though I have my doubts about this latest attempt at a cure.

Will it be applied to the more famous names or is dear old Oumar just a scapegoat.

Peter Mills
63 Posted 22/11/2017 at 20:33:57
I’ve been thinking about this. Both players were trying to deceive the ref, Niasse by making the contact appear more than it was, Dann by concealing his contact. It happens in just about every challenge.

Niasse was successful, and because he was he has been spotted and charged. If he is subsequently suspended, surely Dann’s deceit can then be considered to be successful, and we can await a charge against him?

Bill Rodgers
64 Posted 22/11/2017 at 21:56:28
You sound like a really upset six-year-old. It's not fair, the others got away with it, it's a conspiracy.

It was a dive, get real, get over it, stop the hysterics.

Ian Riley
65 Posted 22/11/2017 at 22:07:25
Did the referee make a call to the Football Association? Did the referee say he got the decision wrong? If no to both questions, then the Football Association should stay out of it. Or was it that the Football Association thought they would flex their muscle on their new rule to a club with no manager and less comeback than a so-called bigger club?

If referees are to gain respect from players, then their decisions must be final. If decisions are to be overturned by highlights on a Saturday night, then football is in big trouble. It undermines referees and their performances. If the referee believes he didn't see the incident and wants the Football Association to take action, then fine.

Sadly video technology will be with us soon with stop-start football. The joy of football is debate over controversial decisions that all of us could interpret differently. Take that away and what do you have? Three hours of football with video replays that actually the referee still interprets differently to the fans.

Jamie Sweet
66 Posted 23/11/2017 at 01:07:23
Rather than successful deception of a ref, I actually argue that he successfully helped the ref make the right decision (something which the ref in question failed to do numerous times during the course of the game).

Niasse should have been thanked by the FA.

Ah well, I guess we can at least add it to our list of "firsts"!

Jamie Sweet
67 Posted 23/11/2017 at 01:23:21
And why are they only punishing "successful" attempts at conning a ref?

It's like not punishing attempted robbery because they didn't get away with anything.

The way they have set this up, I'm pretty sure players will still be willing to "take one for the team" and risk a subsequent ban by taking a dive in order to get the penalty / goal in that particular match.

They should be trying to stamp out ALL diving, at all times, anywhere on the pitch.

Anyone would think the FA was run by numpties.

Si Cooper
68 Posted 23/11/2017 at 01:32:19
It is idiotic to have a harsher punishment just because a player is successful in their deception.

It is perplexing not to differentiate between making the most of minimal contact and pretending contact occurred when it didn't.

It is shameful not to have scrutinised all contested decisions and publicised the findings this season. There is no objective ‘justice' unless all potential ‘offences' are judged in a consistent manner.

Gordon Crawford
69 Posted 23/11/2017 at 01:37:24
Tonight was a perfect example of double standards.

I was watching the Champions League highlights and the shower are playing Seville. Moreno stands on the Seville player's toes, but the Seville player doesn't go down straight away, he takes a few steps then dives. Glen Hoddle in commentary says that “there was contact so it's a penalty”.

So why the double standards, well because we aren't one of the supposed top 6. Makes me sick to think that Niasse is being suspended because of hypocrites like this. Shame on you FA.

Will Mabon
70 Posted 23/11/2017 at 04:29:31
"Contact doesn't rule out diving nor it not being a foul. Every tackle has some element of contact. Did that take away his ability to retain possession? No the ball was miles away."

Every tackle doesn't inevitably have some element of body contact - you are supposed to contact the ball with your foot. Forms of contact, such as kicking, tripping, charging, pulling and so on are clearly outlawed in the rules of the game, as foul play.

The one exception when a move of deliberate contact is made, is when players are competing shoulder-to-shoulder and both within playing distance of the ball.

Also, the position of the ball is irrelevant to whether a foul is committed. If someone runs up to the keeper at the opposite end of the field from the play and boots him, it's foul play or violent conduct. The player will be punished, the offended team will get a free kick. This is why players get punished for off-the-ball incidents. Retaining possession of the ball is unrelated.


This ruling has a serious problem. By the laws of the game in the link above, Dann committed a foul in the penalty area, the foul of impeding an opponent with contact. This means a direct free kick, and a penalty kick if in the penalty area.

It is without question that Dann deliberately moved to impede Niasse. The extent of contact is not described or defined in the rules; it says only "Contact". If there was no contact then Dann's action were impeding the progress of an opponent without any contact being made. This would result in the awarding of an indirect free kick.

Unless the ruling were to find that Dann took no considered or deliberate action whatsoever, this would mean that Niasse was guilty of enhancing an accepted indirect free kick offence into a penalty by simulation. This would require a finding that there was no contact. If the "Panel" accepts that there was contact, any contact if not accidental, then Niasse's actions in falling after this contact are irrelevant, according to the wording of the FA's own rules.


This second link describes the FA's powers and intent to punish simulation as "Successful Deception of a Match Official". This merely outlines the concept. A actual ruling upon which action is taken must surely contain an explanation of how the official was deceived.

Either, there was no contact, or Niasse had to have deliberately initiated contact for him to be guilty of simulation. Why has there been no statement of ruling containing these vital aspects? The Panel has simply "Found" that there was simulation... OK, HOW? What did he do? And was Dann completely exonerated of any attempt to obstruct in any manner?

No wonder they rejected an appeal. Either someone has realized a proper appeal would tear this apart by demanding stated facts that would stand the scrutiny of recorded film, or "Someone" wants to maintain some interpretive wiggle room.

Tim Wardrop
71 Posted 23/11/2017 at 12:33:20
As I mentioned on another thread, I think this is the correct decision. It was a blatant dive and I want divers to be banned. Doesn't matter who he plays for. Hopefully this will serve as a warning to other players (Everton or otherwise) not to do it.
Brent Stephens
72 Posted 23/11/2017 at 12:48:51
Will (#70), I think that's a good summary re contact / fouls; and the legality of shoulder-to-shoulder charges / contact, subject to certain conditions. My guess is that the panel saw this as legitimate contact by Dann, specifically a legitimate shoulder-to-shoulder charge. And that they will therefore have seen Dann's arm across Niasse's chest as insignificant.

The debating points for me are about the significance of the arm across the chest, and about whether the charge was shoulder to shoulder. And, as you say, falling after a foul doesn't negate a foul.

Si Cooper
73 Posted 23/11/2017 at 14:15:54
Tim, problem is not all divers are banned. If the ref thinks you dived you only get a yellow on the pitch. How the fact that a ref is ‘fooled' can transform the punishment into a two game ban is beyond me. Plenty of reffing mistakes can lead to goals being scored/ prevented. It is ridiculous to single this offence out in this way.

Brent, you keep repeating the shoulder to shoulder competition for the ball without seeming to understand that it doesn't apply if the tackler is simply moving towards the player and not in the direction of the ball. That is just a foul.

Brent Stephens
74 Posted 23/11/2017 at 15:00:39
Si, I think it's a question of judgement as to the direction Dann was moving – Dann and Niasse were arguably both moving in the general direction of the ball and Dann also leaned into Niasse.
John McFarlane [Snr]
75 Posted 23/11/2017 at 15:34:20
Hi Si [#73] and Brent [#74] I firmly believe that referees in general do not recognise the shoulder charge, and have removed it from the game. The shoulder charge was allowed as long as the ball was within playing distance of both players, but as I say I think that referees regard it [incorrectly] as a foul, one more step in the direction of a non-contact sport.

I'm off to the match tonight and I don't expect I'll see many shoulder charges.

Brent Stephens
76 Posted 23/11/2017 at 15:39:48
John #75, I think you're right.
Si Cooper
77 Posted 23/11/2017 at 23:00:30
Brent, sorry but have to ask which of the defenders you think is Dann? He ends up facing the way the ball went after stepping across the path Niasse is running. There is no way he could be said to be moving in the general direction that the ball is travelling.

John, players legitimately using upper body strength to ease another player off the ball happens all the time. A shoulder ‘charge' is not the same as competing shoulder to shoulder when both pursuing the ball. Dann's movement to impede denies Niasse the opportunity to catch up with the ball he is chasing and has to be considered an unfair challenge irrespective of Oumar making a meal of it.

John McFarlane [Snr]
78 Posted 24/11/2017 at 00:50:42
Hi Si, [77] I'm not long home from the match, I've just had a bit of supper and taking time out, to come to terms with what I have witnessed this evening.Where in my explanation of a shoulder charge did I refer to players legitimately using upper body strength to ease another player off the ball?

As you say, there is nothing wrong with any legitimate challenge, in my opinion there was a coming together of Dann and Niasse, I'm not a 100% sure that it was a foul challenge, [but I accept that the referee was], and I don't for one second believe that Niasse took a dive.

I grew up believing that there two people who were infallible, and they were the Pope and the referee, in some quarters the Pope is still considered to be infallible. I'm afraid that the referee has been stripped of that distinction, and he has to answer to the so called experts on Match of the Day and other similar television programmes.

I can envision football games being staged [without human input] by the all seeing cameras, and the Alan Shearer, Lee Dixon and Glenn Hoddle of the day, thankfully I won't be around to see it.

Brent Stephens
79 Posted 24/11/2017 at 00:52:55
John "I grew up believing that there two people who were infallible, and they were the Pope and the referee".

I always thought the two infallibilities were the Pope and Bovril.

John McFarlane [Snr]
80 Posted 24/11/2017 at 10:08:51
Hi Brent [79] assuming that that your flippancy is "some sort of defence mechanism" allow me join in by saying, I just wish that Everton had "some sort of defence." As the saying goes, "If you don't laugh you'll cry."
Brent Stephens
81 Posted 24/11/2017 at 10:26:45
John, I'm trying to laugh! Really!
Dale Rose
82 Posted 24/11/2017 at 16:55:37
Well if this is anything to go by then City's attack is now finished. Sterling might as well retire.
Mike Allen
83 Posted 24/11/2017 at 20:46:33
What a farce! After all the media attention and ex-player comments, the referee even today still stands by his decision. How can the FA get away with this? Everton should have taken the appeal further – this was trial by TV pundits.
Will Mabon
84 Posted 24/11/2017 at 23:25:54
From BBC Sport Football:

"Everton's Oumar Niasse 'exaggerated the effect of a normal contact to deceive the referee' and win a penalty according to the written reasons for his two-game ban for diving.

"An independent regulatory commission noted 'the nature of the contact made by Dann was minimal and would not have thrown Niasse off balance and knock him down in the way he portrayed'. "

So, they have tried to qualify it.

The FA rules say "Contact" - not "Nature of contact". The effect of the contact is not mentioned in the rules. There is also no such thing as "Normal contact" described anywhere in the rules.

Also - "...the nature of the contact made by Dann was minimal".

So Dann actively and deliberately made contact (as borne out by video). This violates the FA's own rules, the punishment for which is a penalty when in the area.

So it's normal now, to actively step into the path of a player and make a considered minimal amount of obstructing contact? OK defenders, you can now obstruct attackers running into the box, deflecting them from the ball (with an arbitrary amount of contact decided by a "Panel" on an as-and-when basis) whilst making no attempt to play the ball. Bullshit.

They're basically admitting that Dann made illegal contact but that this is overridden by Niasse's reaction. Perhaps we can see a definition and examples of suitable reaction?

As suspected, the FA are using a "Panel" to reinterpret clear rules of football when it suits their purposes. They want the option to blur rules and punish when it suits, in a way that correct use of the rules wouldn't allow.

A half decent solicitor would tear such crap to shreds - hence their option to deny appeals.

Brian Porter
86 Posted 26/11/2017 at 07:02:14
The fact that the referee still stands by his original decision should, in all fairness, have been all the 'evidence' this ridiculous drum head tribunal needed to put this case to bed. Now, if the referee, on watching the video replay from various angles were to say he was wrong or that on reflection he believed that Niasse conned him by exaggerating the result of the contact, then OK, case proved. But this has NOT been the case. If the referee is standing by his original decision this means that in effect, any contentious decision can be overruled by a tribunal and the overall power of the referee to control the match is further eroded and the integrity of every referee can now be called into question based on nothing more than a media frenzy whipped up by tv pundits.

The FA already has the power to step in with retrospective action when it is believed that a ref has missed an important action, resulting in a player gaining an unfair advantage, but no action is deemed necessary when the referee has seen the alleged incident and taken action. In this case the referee was in a good position to see the incident and accordingly interpreted the evidence of his eyes and took appropriate action by awarding a penalty. As I think someone has already mentioned, any barrister worth his salt could have torn the FA's case to pieces. The whole thing stinks.

Add to that the fact that a player running at speed can easily be knocked off balance by minimal contact if correctly applied as I believe to be the case here, then as soon as the FA admit that contact took place in the box, then they ultimately destroy their own case.

I've waited until now to comment, having given myself time to review the video a number of times, assess the wording of the tribunal decision and to read the rules pertaining to foul play and the application of said rules by referees. How much time did this kangaroo court actually give to the case, LOOKED AT FROM BOTH SIDES, before making this arbitrary ruling which I understand has no right of appeal?

It would appear that the basic tenets of British justice simply do not have any place in football, which more and more is becoming a law unto itself. No wonder the FA and those who govern the game in this country have become a laughing stock and have so little respect from the root and branch followers of a once great game, now reduced to nothing more than a money making enterprise, seemingly run to suit the top echelons of club football, with one law for the rich and glamorous clubs and another for the also - rans.

It will be enormously interesting to see if this ridiculous tribunal is brought into action this weekend or at any time in the near future when one of the players from those rich glamour clubs is caught on camera flagrantly diving to gain an advantage. I won't be holding my breath, and therein lies the crux of the problem they have now created for themselves, because unless they now clamp down on the well known divers at the top end of the league, their integrity will be further eroded and will take the game even further away from the fans who pay to watch their teams in action.

Michael Penley
87 Posted 26/11/2017 at 07:23:21
Brian, the ref concluded that there was contact and it was a penalty. This is a separate issue from whether Niasse deceived the referee intentionally. It is possible for there to be contact by Dann and a foul committed AND for Niasse to exaggerate that contact with the intention of deceiving the referee as to the extent of that contact. The two aren't contradictory.
Dennis Stevens
88 Posted 26/11/2017 at 08:17:40
Interesting point, Michael. However, if the panel is looking to punish all perceived attempts to trick the referee, even if the the original offence is genuine & has been correctly dealt with by the referee on the day, they really are entering into a very grey area. It's as though the implication of your comment is that the panel consider action against Niasse is justified because the referee didn't decide to book him on the day for allegedly exaggerating his fall, even though the referee's decision to award a penalty for the original foul may be considered valid.

I still doubt the merits of having amateurs seemingly in a position to overrule/undermine the authority of professional referees. If there must be a panel of this type it should consist of current and/or former match officials, possibly with one or two ex-players acting as consultants to give a different perspective - but not to be part of the decision directly. It also seems obvious to me that only the match official concerned should be able to refer an incident to the panel, on the basis that he has reviewed it from various angles & revised his view of the incident after the match.

Peter Barry
89 Posted 26/11/2017 at 08:29:18
Whatever happened to 'the Referee's decision is final' and all the people who have been let off with horrendous acts of savagery because the referee saw it and acted on it.
Michael Penley
90 Posted 26/11/2017 at 08:58:44
You do have a point there, Dennis. I just think diving is so insidious and harmful to football's image that some within the game think it's worth the potential costs.

I would prefer that the game's original referees were to be involved in some way with the review, as they are the only ones who know the context of the incident within the particular match. If they could veto a decision by the panel, or approve it.

Dennis Stevens
91 Posted 26/11/2017 at 09:12:19
I'd have thought one of the easy ways to hit this issue would be to punish any incident where a player has gone down when the evidence clearly shows there was no contact at all, and then claims for a free kick – anywhere on the field. That would be far less controversial and would, hopefully, lead to something of a change of attitude amongst players. This controversy is becoming all about the process and not about diving.

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