By 90Min
December 19, 2017

Former Chelsea and Celtic striker Chris Sutton has said that he is shocked following the FA's decision to charge West Ham's Manuel Lanzini for diving against Stoke City, during the Hammers' 4-1 victory. 

The Argentine went to ground under minimal contact as he was challenged by Erik Pieters in the Stoke penalty area. Referee Graham Scott subsequently pointed to the spot, and Mark Noble dispatched the penalty to open the scoring for West Ham. 

After the incident was referred to the FA three-person panel, the decision was made that Lanzini had deceived the referee and he now faces a two-match ban. 

The 24-year-old becomes only the second player to have been charged by the FA following the implementation of the new regulations. Everton striker Oumar Niasse became the first when he was deemed to have dived against Crystal Palace back in November. 

Pundit Chris Sutton feels that Lanzini isn't the only Premier League player who should be facing a ban for diving, however. 

“Is this the ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ panel? Are they doing this blindfolded and guessing?” Sutton wrote for the Daily Mail

“So far two players have been charged: Everton’s Oumar Niasse and Manuel Lanzini of West Ham. Yes, both went down too easily and gained an advantage in being awarded penalties. But if I was at West Ham right now I would be pointing to the Wilfried Zaha incident in gaining an advantage for Crystal Palace’s first penalty against Bournemouth," he continued.

"Similar to Lanzini, he was on the way down before contact and was wrongly awarded a penalty. These incidents mirror each other. So why has Lanzini been charged and Zaha not?

“The diving panel must simplify its rules as players can only be charged if they gain an advantage," Sutton argued. 

"When Newcastle’s Mikel Merino threw himself to the floor with no contact against Swansea this season — a clear dive — he wasn’t awarded a penalty, wasn’t booked but wasn’t charged with diving, even though he did. 

"It is a diving panel who don’t charge certain players for diving when they clearly dive, then charge one player in Lanzini for going down before contact and not another, Zaha, in the same situation. 

"Work it out! I can’t. Since the panel has been set up, we’ve just seen confusion and inconsistencies,” he added.

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