Football Association Charge Everton Striker Niasse
Everton striker Oumar Niasse becomes the first Premier League player to be charged under new rules as the Football Association cracks down on simulation within the sport. The 27-year-old Senegalese forward has been accused of successful deception of a match official.
Everton forward Oumar Niasse is the first top-flight player to be charged over allegations that he dived to earn his side a penalty in Everton’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace. Replays show there was minimal if any contact from Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann. Referee Antony Taylor was in a great position and judged contact had been made and pointed to the spot. Viewers who watched the incident on Match of the Day would have been in little doubt of the thoughts of pundits Phil Neville and Alan Shearer. Former Everton player Phil Neville was critical of Niasse, saying:
It was a dive. It was 100% a dive. There’s a bit of contact but he goes down trying to win the penalty. It’s a soft penalty.– Phil Neville, former footballer
Alan Shearer agreed, though the previous England captain said however that he didn’t expect any further action against Niasse by the FA. Former England manager Roy Hodgson, who is manager of Crystal Palace, said after the game that he also thought it was a dive.
This season saw the introduction of new rules to combat the growing instances of diving and cheating within football. Up until now, only players who play in the lower divisions of the football league have been charged.
League Two Carlisle United were the first club to have a player charged when Shaun Miller was accused of simulation and became the first player to be found guilty in October. His punishment was a two-match ban.
When can retrospective action be taken?
Surprisingly, the new rules on simulation only apply in certain conditions. The Football Association website states that retrospective action can only be taken when:
• An alleged act leads to a penalty.
• An alleged act leads to a straight red card for an opponent.
• An alleged act leads to a dismissal of an opponent (where the alleged act led to the opponent receiving either one of the two cautions).
Clarifying why the decision to charge Oumar Niasse had been made, a statement on the FA website says:
Incidents which suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation are referred to a panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player. Each panel member will be asked to review all available video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it was an offence of Successful Deception of a Match Official. Only in circumstances where the panel are unanimous would The FA issue a charge.– Rule book, The Football Association
Whilst many welcome the crackdown on perceived cheating, the question of consistency is bound to be raised. Several high-profile incidents have taken place in which The Football Association decided not to act.
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva appeared to need little encouragement to fall over to win his side a penalty against Burnley, angering manager Sean Dyche. The Silva incident was hot on the heels of another which involved Watford striker Richarlison against Arsenal. The young Brazilian seemed to go down very easily under a challenge from Hector Bellerin, with Arsene Wenger labeled a scandalous decision.