Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Jamie Jackson: NBA may have the answer for those diving into the debate on simulation

In the blue corner stands Manchester City's Sergio Agüero who believes overseas players get a rough ride from officials when fouled.

In the red corner is the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who is clear that foreign footballers are the biggest culprits when it comes to diving.

Thespianism on the football field is hardly a new problem and is not confined to the national game. What Fifa calls "simulation" is known across the pond in America's NBA as "flopping" or "acting".

The joke currently running in the multi-billion dollar basketball league is that NBA champions should not receive a winners' ring but an Oscar for their theatrics.

This does not come from disgruntled fans or the media but from the top. During the 2012 playoffs David Stern, the NBA commissioner, said: "I think it's time to look at [flopping] in a more serious way because it's only designed to fool the referee. It's not a legitimate play in my judgment. I recognise if there's contact [you] move a little bit, but some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies."

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