The stigma of diving has been at the forefront of English football recently as the epidemic continues to spread. Everton’s Oumar Niasse was the first player that the FA used as an example to combat the problem within the Premier League.
Niasse was adjudged to have dived in the game against Crystal Palace, but only after the game. His actions were convincing enough for the referee to award a penalty, which helped Everton leave Selhurst Park with a 2-2 draw.
With retrospective examination, Niasse was banned for two games for his dive, despite some arguing that there was partial contact from Palace’s Scott Dann.
The blowback of Niasse’s ban has sharpened the pitchforks, as fans embarked on a witch hunt to find any player guilty of diving this weekend. They did not have to search too long for another foe to show its face. In the evening clash between Liverpool and Chelsea, Eden Hazard was deemed to have dived.
The Belgian went down under an alleged challenge from James Milner, though it was clear Milner did not touch the Chelsea star. This lead to a social media meltdown as fans of the game voiced for the FA to brand him with a ban, with Everton fans leading the outcry.
Two-match ban for Eden Hazard under ludicrous FA simulation rules? ‘Arching of the back and the collapsing of both legs…simply not consistent with the amount of force exerted upon him’? #LIVCHE #EFC #CPFChttps://t.co/wc2Om9mI7T
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) November 25, 2017
Liverpool were held to a draw after inform forward, Mohamed Salah opened up the scoring in the second half. Chelsea equalised through Willian, but the game ended 1-1, with both clubs losing ground on Manchester United.
Just like Niasse’s incident, the FA will surely take their time to decide the fate of Eden Hazard. A two game ban for the Belgian will be a monumental exclusion as we head into the congested festive period.