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The trend that football players turning more and more to diving and histronics / play-acting, like they have been fatally wounded after the slightest touch, is probably the most serious development that the footballing authorities tackle.

Why not tackle in the same way doping? It is cheating.

A player can gain a lot more advantage by diving or pretending to be seriously hurt, than by taking some of the drugs that would cost months, even years, ban from playing football.

The player is gaining advantage by doing something that has nothing to do with the sport in which he (she?) is competing.

And the player is gaining advantage by trying to fool the authorities (referees).

I don’t know any other sport or game that tolerates this level of cheating.

A golfer moving the ball to a better position, a card player with extra card up his/hers sleeve, a marathon running taking a short-cut or a discus thrower using a modify object… no one accepts this.

In case tackling doping was a fresh idea, people would probably say that harsh bans would be an overreaction. It is just a matter of what we see as acceptable. And in this case we need to change what we see as acceptable, fast.

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