Phil Neville does not believe that banning players will eradicate diving from the game
Phil Neville believes Oumar Niasse’s two-game ban for diving was a disgrace and admits he would dive in order to gain an advantage for his team.
Niasse became the first Premier League player to be charged with successfully managing to deceive a match official in Everton’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
Having gone a goal down at Selhurst Park, Everton equalised from the penalty spot after Scott Dann was controversially ruled to have fouled Niasse by referee Anthony Taylor.
The Everton striker is set to miss Premier League games at Southampton and a home match against West Ham and Neville thinks he’s been harshly treated.
“I think it’s an absolute disgrace,” Neville said.
“Is it going to cut out diving? I don’t think it will. Will it stop him from doing it again? No. I don’t think he deserves a two-game ban.
DId Niasse dive?
“If they’re going to punish every single player in the league and ban them for diving, then they may have a chance of stopping it. But I see diving week-in, week-out and unless you punish every player for diving and ban them for two games, they’ll keep doing it. I feel sorry for Niasse.
“David Unsworth will be happy with him as his side got a penalty and won a point. I think if Dominic Calvert-Lewin goes around the Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster on Saturday and has a chance to win his side a penalty, he’ll go down. If I was a manager, the first thing I’d tell him to do would be to go down. If there’s a little bit of contact, get down.
“It’s all about trying to gain advantage for your team, whether to win a penalty or a foul in order to get a goal for your team.
“You say cheating, I say it’s trying to win a game.
“In 1998 Jordi Cruyff joined Manchester United and he said to Sir Alex Ferguson, English clubs will never win in Europe until they start diving and I think we’ve caught up on them.”
Neville was part of a diving debate as a player when playing for Everton against Liverpool in 2012.
He tumbled to the ground in an attempt to win a free-kick in a dangerous position for Everton and was booked for diving by referee Andre Marriner.
When responding to watching the incident on The Debate, Neville said: “In the build-up to that game there was a lot of talk about Luis Suarez diving. I dived, David Moyes nearly fined me a week’s wages, but it was the edge of the box. I’d do it again. I was trying to win a foul for my team.”