Soccer

Blatter looks to clamp down on play-acting

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ZURICH (AP)

FIFA President Sepp Blatter wants to clamp down on play-acting in football by introducing an unofficial sin-bin for players who feign injury.

In his column for FIFA Weekly entitled ''Stop the amateur dramatics,'' the head of world football's governing body said he finds it ''deeply irritating'' when ''the (supposedly) half-dead player comes back to life as soon as they have left the pitch.''

Blatter urged referees to make these players wait on the touchline so their absence has an effect on their team.

''In practical terms this amounts to a time penalty - and it could cause play-actors to rethink,'' he wrote.

Blatter didn't specify the length of time these ''stricken'' players should be held up on the sideline.

Blatter said diving and feigning injury ''has become a normal and accepted part of football nowadays.''

''Cutting out this kind of cheating is a matter of respect towards opponents and fans,'' Blatter added, ''and ultimately one of self-respect as a professional and role model.''

There have been 13 yellow cards for diving in the English Premier League so far this season.

FIFA Weekly will be published on Friday.

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