November 23 – Oumar Niasse of Everton has become the first Premier League player to be banned retrospectively for diving since new rules came into effect in May.
The Senegalese forward fell foul of a new offence of “successful deception of a match official” and has been banned for two games.
Niasse won a controversial penalty in Everton’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace last weekend and was punished despite denying he deliberately committed “an act of simulation”
Everton said they were “disappointed” with the ruling, saying the player was wrongly treated by an independent review panel consisting of a former match official, ex-manager and former player.
“I think it’s a great rule but it doesn’t change my stance on if there’s contact anywhere on the pitch – slight or not, contact is contact,” said Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth. “Anywhere else on the pitch it’s a foul. He was shocked and I was shocked. He doesn’t tell lies. He wouldn’t go down for no reason. I’ve worked with him for a year and he’s always one who takes an opportunity to shoot. We don’t want contact taken out the game. Slowly but surely it has started.”
But former FIFA referee Mark Clattenburg disagreed. “I’ve watched it from three angles and this is clear simulation,” he said. “Niasse’s action – throwing himself backwards – is not consistent with contact from the defender.”
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org