Players Facing Retrospective 2-Match Bans for Diving as FA Bid to Clamp Down on Growing Problem
Players are set to face retrospective two-match bans for diving from the 2017/18 season onwards as the Football Association looks to clamp down on the rising problem in English football.
The Times has reported that footballers in England's top four tiers will face an extended period on the sidelines if they are found guilty of the offence, but the new rule is only set to apply to incidents that result in a sending off or penalty being awarded.
The ban will come into force with immediate effect from Friday when the new season officially kicks off with the opening games of the Sky Bet Championship.
The FA will use a three-man panel - made up of 14 individuals from playing, refereeing and managerial backgrounds - who must unanimously agree over whether a player should be charged for perceived diving during a match via video evidence. One from each background must always sit on each individual panel.
English football's governing body is, however, wary of launching an investigation into every diving incident - a decision which means that only those with clear and overwhelming evidence of diving will be put to the committee.
Panel members with an interest in clubs being reviewed will not be allowed to sit on the case too over fears of bias, and there are plans to fast-track all cases in a bid to prevent those wrongly sent off from missing their side's next fixture.
Players who are shown second yellow cards or straight reds in diving incidents will have those cards rescinded as part of the new ruling, but footballers who are mistakenly booked for being conned by divers will not have yellow cards removed from their accumulative quota.
All Premier League and Football League clubs were consulted during the FA's study, with the vast majority of sides and managers thought to be happy with the recently-installed laws.
Teams will have the option to appeal against a decision, but are advised against doing so due to any possible charge having been reached via a unanimous verdict.
Finally, repeat offenders will face an extra one-match ban for each offence, while the FA has made enquiries with world governing body FIFA over taking retrospective action over violent conduct incidents that are only partially seen by match officials.