Like many Americans, I do not follow soccer on a regular basis. I think that soccer is one of the most boring sports to watch, playing it is a different story, but to watch a two hour match that often ends up in a 0-0 tie never appealed to me. But with the sudden excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup I decided to watch a few games. I decided to sit down and watch the United States’ first game against the heavily favored England and, even though it ended in a tie, I found the game to be very interesting and rather exciting at times. Over the last week so I have been keeping up with the games watching some foreign countries play here and there, and although the competition is good and the games are keeping my interest, there is one thing that irks me. I know that one can’t expect to be an analyst of a certain sport after a week of watching it and there are many aspects of the game that I still don’t understand, like offsides for instance. I do though have one complaint about the sport; the players dive and cry to the referees much too often. At times it gets a bit ridiculous that grown men, the greatest players in their respective sport, can completely disregard the integrity of their beloved game by jumping to the ground and holding their face or their ankle. These are the most athletic and agile men in the world and they are diving all over the field to try to draw a foul, and to my dismay, the referees almost always rule in favor of the jerk who is making a fool of himself, FIFA, and his country. What’s even more annoying than the actual dive itself is when the diver doesn’t get the call and they jump up to yell at the referee, no sign of injury, literally admitting that they were faking it. I don’t understand how this is okay with soccer fans, the most loyal fans in the world.
Before I started watching, I heard that Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the greatest players in the world, the man can score at will. As I watch him I can’t help but to think of another player who is one of, if not the, greatest player in his respective sport, Sidney Crosby. The two are like brothers. Put aside the fact that they do actually look a bit similar, they are both among the best players in the world at their sport yet for some reason that is beyond me, they both feel that they need to dive all over the field or the ice to get calls. You’re the best player in the world, you’re going to get the benefit of the doubt!!! The diving isn’t even the worst part, it’s when they don’t get the call and they go over to the referee to plea their case that the big bully knocked them down. As a hockey fan I hate Sidney Crosby, like most hockey fans that are not located in Pittsburgh. I just don’t understand how FIFA, and the NHL, let their star players do this. FIFA especially, because it’s not only Ronaldo, every player on every team dives whenever they make the slightest bit of contact with a player from the other team.
Personally, I just think that it is wrong and that the players should have enough dignity and integrity for the game to stop, but I guess they go by the motto “anything to win”, which is disappointing to say the least. I hope that someday, if the diving doesn’t come to an end which I highly doubt will be the case, FIFA decides to give the referees permission to give a penalty if they believe that a player is intentionally embellishing a dive to draw a foul against the opposing team, like in hockey, although it is rarely enforced. Hopefully that would put an end to this childish act that soccer players put on every game.