12 Dec 2012

Football Cheats - No 30: The embarrassing hypocrisy of Roberto Mancini...

Football makes me sick. I love it, but I also hate it in equal measure, and the main reason for that is the incessant prevalence of cheating, and its inbred cousin, 'gamesmanship'. Equally bad are enabling fans, who just exacerbate the situation by ceaselessly condoning (and often encouraging) any form of cheating if it gives their team an advantage. It's not just the enabling fans who are the problem though; managers are not doing enough to stamp it out of the game, and in some cases, they're part of the problem. Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is a case in point, and over the weekend, he proved himself to be one of the biggest hypocrites in modern football.

Mancini has claimed several times in the past that he is against cheating. For example, prior to City's 3-2 defeat to Man United last weekend, he slammed Ashley young for diving:

"I remember very well last year, when Young was swimming in the box. I think four or five times in the last 10 games, and he [Ferguson] didn't say anything, but this can happen."

Earlier in the year, Mancini expressed his apparent distaste for diving, and specifically stated that he doesn't tell his players to dive. He told Reporters:

“I don’t like this [diving]. I don’t have these players [who dive]. I have seen some situations in the last three or four weeks...but Mario hasn’t done this because I don’t like these situations. Sometimes these things can happen but I don’t want to get a penalty like this. I tell my players not to do this.”

Like so many fans, Mancini is a massive hypocrite who actually condones and encourages cheating, and the proof of this came during the Man United game at the weekend. As described by The Telegraph:

"Aguero plays it through for Tevez, who could have gone down in the area, but stays on his feet and loses the ball. Mancini's gesturing on the touchline to Tevez, telling him he should have gone down.

Commentating on the game, Gary Neville highlighted the issue, and observed:

"I don't speak Italian but I know the culture well'."

With managers exhorting their players to cheat, is it any wonder that football is in the gutter? It's ridiculous. Tevez actually does the decent thing and stays on his feet instead of doing an Ashley Young-style swan-dive, and he gets criticised by his own manager?! Pathetic.

The FA should charge Mancini for bringing the game into disrepute, but English football's alleged governing body is too spineless and gutless to take any real action on cheating.

The worst thing is that if Tevez had dived and won a penalty, like most 'fans' the majority of City's supporters would've accepted/condoned the dive without a second thought.

The beautiful game? Don't make me laugh. Cheating, 'gamesmanship' and corruption are now the defining characteristics of football.

PRE-EMPTIVE NOTE: For those who will inevitably post stuff like 'but what about Suarez' - Change the record already; I highlight Suarez's diving all the time.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. You could go down easily without diving. Actually there was a foul on Tevez. It should have been a pen. But if you don't go to ground, no chance of getting a pen.

    Sorry for my english I'm a french liverpool fan.

  2. Mancini's gesture was a 'dive' gesture. And if you go down when you can actually stay on your feet, it is a dive.

  3. I haven't seent the Mancini gesture, and I would like to. But its pretty bad that a manager is now even encouraging it.

    But the sad fact is that all players, and I mean ALL players, cheat in football now. I dont think you would find any player, who hasn't, fouled someone on purpose, known they have fouled a player in the box but kept quiet, appealed for fouls when its not, appealed for corners & throw ins when its not, pulled someones shirt, handled the ball attacking or defending, seen the ball go over the line but kept quiet.

    Would you own up to it if the ball had crossed the line but the ref didnt see it, and that goal not being given meant you won the leauge or a cup? I dont think anyone would.

    I think you just have to accept that cheating is part of the game now, and move on. Its not going to change.

  4. Will - what you've outlined is the problem, and it's why cheating flourishes. Just accept it? Why? Is that the real solution? Just imagine if (historically), the slaves and suffragettes had the same attitude. Yeah, let's just stay slaves - we have to accept it and 'move on'.

    Things change precisely because people don't accept it, and football is no different. It's taken decades but goal-line technology is finally being introduced. Things can change, and cheating can be outlawed eventually. Fans have a huge part to play; if fans have a zero tolerance approach across the board, and boo/attack their own players for cheating, things will change (in time).

    You can accept it, but I won't. I don't care if my dissent makes no difference.

  5. Mancini wanted Tevez to go down because there was contact and since he didn't go down, they received nothing. So Mancini was right in suggesting that Tevez should have gone down atleast he would have got a penalty. What is the point of staying up on your feet on contact if you don't get a decisions for staying up?

  6. This is hardly the same thing as the slave trade though is it?!

    I just dont see how it will change.
    Say they start to take retrospective action agaisnt diving, fine. But does that then mean they have to take some sort of action agaisnt fouls not given? It wouldnt be fair to punish one and not the other, and this is why I think it would be so hard to eradicate from the game.
    Where do you draw the line? It seems like people only focus on attacking players, but defenders are just as guilty at times. With pulling shirts at corners, and fouling players in the box, but getting away with it.

    E.G Suarez gets fouled in the box, no pentaly given, put its a clear penatly, later in the game, he dives in the box, no penatly given. Which one do you punish? and how?

  7. I'm not making a literal comparison. It's the principle: refusal to accept something negative.

  8. Typical rationalising view of someone who condones cheating.

  9. Ok, thats fine. But how would you solve the above mentioned problem?

  10. And how often do you condone/accept the king of all divers Suarez falling over at every given opportunity. Don't make me laugh with your sanctimonious crap

  11. No. If you go down when you aren't fouled it is a dive.

  12. You clearly haven't been here before lol.

  13. This has been going on in Football for years. Years! Cheating: Players pull each other shirts, they pull players down, they take free kicks from the incorrect spot, the throw the ball in from wrong spot, they dive, they fake injuries, commit fouls. It is all cheating.

    I don't like diving and acting like you have been shot, it looks stupid. But it just something that players do. Saurez looks like a chop when he does it, but if he gets us a penalty and we win...great. Why? Because next week the same thing will happen to us. It is just part of the game. And as you like to say: If you don't like it, you are welcome to watch chess...or whatever other sport you think people don't bend the rules. Can you think of one?

  14. Cos he could have scored anyway. The fact that he didn't does not justify a pre-emptive decision to take a fall in order to win the penalty.

    Good article and I wholeheartedly agree. I hate it when players take a tumble or, the old classic, feign injury with minimal contact. I'm a United fan and I hate our players doing it just as much as anyone else. Young's dives last season and earlier this season are as much a disgrace and insult as Suarez or Torres or anyone else.

    The thing that makes me hate football the most though? The 'fans'. I don't mean all fans... I mean the jumped up arse-hats like we saw at the weekend. The tribal, evolutionary throwbacks who choose to act like thugs, lobbing crap at players, howling abuse and gesticulating. People go on about how grounds have 'great atmosphere', but that atmosphere seems to be souring with every passing weekend and it's not something I would care to take children to any longer.

    I'm grateful for the fact that we have a Premiership rugby club near us, that'll be my first point of call for family sport now.

  15. Finally you have an article that does not criticize Liverpool but this time your having ago at your other enemies but you still manage to get something in there about suarez

  16. Completely agree with your comment about fans. And that just makes the whole 'FA planning on teaching 'foreigners' about our culture' even more ridiculous.

  17. Jamie I would shake your hand.You have spoken with the integrity most people lack. Fact is they have no clue what integrity even means.I agree with you %100.For the record I am a United supporter.As for the argument from will above, to cheat is not the same as an officials error.To punish cheating in every form cannot come quickly enough.The bullshit spectacle of players claiming injury as if they were shot sickens me the most. If the FA had any balls the majority of cheating could be eradicated in a month.

  18. You are the who defended Valencia when he went down under slightest of contact to win a penalty, it wasn't cheating then.

  19. Seriously, I don't mind cheating anymore. Everyone does it. It is in balance.

  20. Exactly right. If Tevez had gone down it is NOT a dive - The point Mancini was making - the point Jaimie completely missed.

  21. Regardless, it WAS a foul on Tevez. It's only a dive if you weren't fouled. Are you contending that he wasn't fouled?

    Your definition of a dive is oversimplistic. There are many fouls given when players stay on their feet. Referees,however often miss genuine fouls when players do so.

    This is not to condone diving or cheating. But if a player has been fouled, there is no compulsion for him to act as if he hasn't, stay on his feet , or fall over.

    There is , of course, no defence for players who hope to get fellow players into more trouble, yellow /red cards etc , by play acting to the extent that the foul looks a bad one when it isn't. If Tevez decides that , following the foul, that he won't make as much effort to stay upright as he did, why should he? It's not his job to make it look less of a foul by staying upright but off balance. As long as he doesn't stray into exaggeration.

    How many times are fouls given for defenders , when, facing their own goal line and chased by a forward, wait for the slightest touch, then fall down, earning a free kick. I don't hear you highlighting that, although it comes under the same territory as this. And I certainly don't hear it being called cheating..

    How do you know Mancini was saying to Tevez to dive? The gesture only has one meaning? Or was it the most succinct way to say 'when fouled, don't stay upright if you are now too unbalanced and therefore disadvantaged? We don't know. Neither do you.

    What you can't say for sure is that Mancini tells his players to dive.

    I guess you will now call me an Enabler. I don't want LFC players to dive, and actually, now Suarez has stopped exaggerating, there are precious few examples for you to pick out. But this oversanctimonious approach of yours is too slective in it's application. If you are anti cheating, fine, most of us are. But imo you have to be even handed with your application of the principle, otherwise one could argue of your own hypocrisy....

  22. Precisely, aswl is right. He tried to stay on his feet and gained no advantage, he was fouled so perhaps should have hit the ground. Penalty and perhaps a red card, that's a game changer and in my eyes not cheating!

  23. So if you fouled someone in the box deliberatly and then kept quiet about it. That isnt cheating?

    The simplest way to stop people feigning injury is to adopt the same approach as Rugby, just carry on playing and have a physio run on.

  24. No 'point' has been missed. Even if a player is fouled, if that foul is not enough for the player to go down he should stay on his feet. If the player then goes down despite the contact not being strong enough, it is a dive. It is dishonest.

    The blinkered rationalising is hilarious. People are so desensitized to cheating now that they're not even aware that they're encouraging it.

    Your whole argument is posited on the following notion:

    * If a player is fouled, he has the right to go down.

    Please show me the FA/UEFA/FIFA guidline that states this is an actual rule.

    You won't find it because it doesn't exist. It's nonsense.

    If a player can stay on their feet they stay on their feet. If they get fouled, and then fall over even though they could've stayed on their feet, it is cheating.

    What you're proposing is something made up by fans to rationalise cheating.

  25. Stop talking rubbish. Post a link to the article where I defended Valencia. If you're going to say stuff like that, provide proof, otherwise it's meaningless.

  26. How is this relevant? There are many forms of cheating in football, but diving/feigning injury is arguably one of the worst, and has the most negative impact on the game (reputation and consequences for teams)

  27. Yeah, you're right. I really should criticise Suarez more for his diving instead of giving him a free pass.

  28. Then it all comes down to what you perceive to be right and wrong regardless of the situation.

  29. You are going down a dead end street with this obsession. Your naivety is beyond comprehension. If Tevez had gone down no one (but himself) would know whether he dived or not. Get real, your argument is totally flawed because you are comparing your morality with others. There is no comparison because, by definition, it is subjective.

  30. but he could have stayed on his feet like tevez did

  31. Interesting that you quote Mancini where he condems diving, but have no quotes saying he thought Tevez should have dived - Just interpretations from the Guardian and Gary Neville.

  32. This makes me laugh.

  33. Hi Jamie,

    I completely agree with what you're saying. Of course on the outside managers are going to feign interest to the media by telling them 'our side it whiter than white' but we all know that the game has moved on a long way from being a 'game'. The term game is a form of play or sport, esp. a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck. Football stopped being this a long time ago when money arrived. Now it's a win at all costs attitude and cheating is part and parcel of this. It's rife from top to bottom. From FIFA, to EUFA to the FA and every single club striving for the same thing. Sad to say but it makes me absolutely sick as well. The worse footballing incident ever for me (not direct cheating but sums it up) was when Rooney came up to the camera after we'd just drawn 0-0 with Algeria in the 2010 world cup and have the gall to say we the 'fans' had a cheek for booing the team. I had friends who spent THOUSANDs of their own money to go and watch those bunch of wasters and that's how we are perceived by our idols. What a bunch of jokers. Rant over :) YNWA

  34. I'm naive because I have zero tolerance on cheating/ Nonsense. I'm not saying things will change, I'm just registering my distaste for cheating, and if every fan did that, we would see rapid changes.

    I'm not comparing my 'morality' with anyone else's. It's simple: I hate cheating, so I constantly highlight it.

  35. If Tevez had gone down he would have gotten a penalty, City might have won and be level on points instead of being 6 behind.

    Unfortunately, Trying to stay on your feet just gives the referee a get out clause.

    It shouldn't matter if you stay on your feet or go down. Penalty should be awarded either way.

    Therefore players hit the deck to try to ensure the referee can't duck out of a big decision.

    Would be acceptable to you if Tevez simply stopped and demanded a penalty?

  36. Why is that interesting? Are The Telegraphy and Neville lying? Are the tens of thousands of fans who've posted their recollection of Mancini's gesture (on facebook/twitter etc) all lying too?

    Is an act only legitimised if someone comments on it?

  37. That is 1000% preferable to going down when there's no need to.

  38. There is simulation, a la Cazorla last week.

    Even worse you have the Pires, kick an opponent to make it appear contact has occurred.

    Then there is falling to the ground when you HAVE been fouled to ensure you get the decision. I would not deem that to be cheating.

    Does the author include all fouls, especially yellow / red card offences as cheating?

    Was De Jong's foul on Alonso in WC final cheating?

  39. jamie please explain to me. What would you do if an opposing player kicked your legs or pulled your shirt while you had the ball ?

  40. Agreed

    The new custom of putting the ball out of play for every injury is being abused. Full backs, that are caught out of position on a failed overlapping attempt, are now play acting in an attempt to shame opponents into putting the ball out.

    Drogba was the original architect of this scourge on the game. Routinely rolling BACK ONTO THE PITCH while "injured" to stop the game.

    The game is being stopped because of cramp!!!!

    Referees should stop a game if the injury is deemed serious and physios should come onto the field of play.

    Has anyone else noticed how rarely physioscome onto the pitch now - because player then has to leave field to be treated if physio comes on.

    If the game is stopped, I think the player should have to stay off for 2 minutes

  41. number 30 is as boring as the previouse 29 imo

  42. I wouldn't dive to the ground to take advantage. I play football (11 a side and 5 a side), and I get kicked all the time, but I pride myself on staying on my feet. If the contact is such that it forces me down, then fine, but that's not my choice. It's a question of choice: as soon as a player makes a choice to go down, it is cheating (IMO)

  43. Cheating definition:

    "Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination"

    When there is an element of deception to the act, it's cheating. Mistimed tackles etc that lead to red cards are not cheating (unless it's a Roy Keane-Haaland situation); most fouls are just part and parcel of the physical nature of the game; there's arguably no malice aforethought.

    When it comes to diving, feigning injury, deliberate handballs etc, there is an obvious intention to deceive on the part of the player, which is what makes it cheating.

  44. Stop kidding yourself, of course you are comparing your own morality with others. Just read your posts again. Dead end street!

  45. No, that is what you are projecting onto the situation. What does it matter anyway? I have an opinion; others do too, so we discuss the various facets of the problem. I don't see your point.

  46. So Tevez runs into the box and is being attacked from all angles before being shot!
    Then the general Mancini says no Carlos no!! your wounded man stay down and We can still be rescued ... We wont be saved if you continue on this mad attack and we will lose the war!!!
    Tevez being the brave soldier that he is continues to run into a dead end.

    The war is lost!

    JK wins lol

  47. Its relevant because its cheating. As you posted below the definition of cheating, I think deliberate fouls fall squarley in that category.

  48. Fair enough. Probably less likely to get the decision.

    It is ridiculous that a player has to force a refs hand by going to ground.

    That's why fouled players sometimes catch the ball when fall to the ground. To force a decision.

    I think the main problem is that the rules of football were never meant to be judged in light of super slow motion, hi def, immediate replays on TV. There is probably multiple infringements by both sides for every corner kick etc.

    I was watching highlights of Boca v River Plate recently. The tackles were obscene and often not punished. This is why forwards have developed counter measures to win free kicks, to instil some "justice" to proceedings. Simulation in South America is a skill, an attribute that is admired in a player.

    Cheating in football is endemic, retrospective lengthy bans and massive fines could change that

  49. I think one problem is that Refs, the majority of the time, seem to only give a foul if the player goes down. They must be thinking "If he is still on his feet, then he hasnt been fouled", so then in turn the player might think "Well ive been kicked about here, but nothing has blown, so I will go down to get the foul". Its a tough one to call if that is cheating.

  50. I once posted a lengthy comment, attempting to define cheating. It mainly talked about the "element of deception" where a cheat tries to subvert the rules of the game without being detected.

    This is why I deem diving, feigning injury to stop the game or get an opponent disciplined, attempted to score goals with hand, control the ball with one's hand etc to be cheating. The offender is trying to subvert the rules and deceive the referee.

    Everything else is an infringement of the rules, blatant handball, tripping / kicking an opponent etc

  51. Yes, I agree. But I think that's why the Ref is there to decide when a certain event is "soft" or legitimate. In a game for Lazio, Klose told the Ref to cancel his goal because he used his hand to control the ball before he scored and the Ref didn't actually see that particular incident. It was a really brave and heroic thing to do.

  52. Fair play to him. I didnt know that.

  53. :-) Only one problem. The 'stay down' part - Mancini wasn't encouraging Tevez to stay down; he was telling him to go down.

  54. Cheating is a problem that is beyond football. Football is just a reflection of our society. Dishonesty is common place in out society and to some extent "expected" in certain aspects, although this is wrong it is sadly the reality of things. If people can get away with cheating then 9/10 people would be dishonest, especially if there is an advantage/benefit from doing so, and any beneficiaries will also partake in a dishonest act if they benefit from it.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this article and although I absolutely hate cheating and always voice my disapproval on it, I know that sadly it's a reality of today's football. As such my interest in football in general has gone down dramatically because of it.

    The question is: Are the powers that be, those who have the responsibility to keep the game out of disrepute and implementing sportsmanship, anti-cheating enough?

    The answer is no.

    Just the refusal of implementing replays in the games proves that they are spineless. The refusal of giving out heavy fines and bans for cheating has in a sense encouraged players to cheat. And fans, as long as their team has the advantage then most will pass a blind eye.

    Cheating goes way deeper than juts diving, as such I do not think it will ever be eradicated from the game.

    Down with cheating and cheaters.

  55. As one plays at an increasingly higher level, perceptions of fairness change.

    When I played for my college team, with a former Irish international as manager, the aim was to win every competition we were in.

    If you didn't perform or do what was needed to win you were dropped to the 2nd team or off the panel together.

    In a results driven environment, some people will do anything to succeed.

  56. Please show me the FA/FIFA/UEFA guideline which says you have to do everything within your power to stay on your feet, adter you've been fouled.

    You won't find it because it doesn't exist either.

    if a player has been fouled, he does NOT have to bust a gut to keep is balance. The foul puts him at a disadvantage. The free kick/penalty is there to right that disadvantage.

    Don't get me wrong. Diving where no contact exists, overexaggeration to get the offender more severely punished- all things which should attract retrospective bans if not seen, or referee action if seen. But being disadvantaged by being put off balance following a foul? why should he accept that?

  57. Yoeh, that's right, there's absolutely no sneaky stuff happening in a rugby match.

    Bet you've never played a single game at any level.

  58. Using that premise, isn't that saying to all defenders, push, harry, nudge, and otherwise disrupt the player as much as you like, just don't do it enough for him to be forced over?

  59. The difference is young got penalties for is dives .while Suarez has been assaulted at times and got booked

  60. Ashley young is a constant cheat and one of the biggest divers ive ever seen since klingsman, makes suarez look very stable.
    credit to tevez. but in todays football he should of gone down because he was fouled, anywhere else on the pitch and its a free kick.
    and incompetent refs you just cant rely on.
    mancini waving cards from the side lines is something that makes me boil, but he was right on this occasion.
    fergie gets what fergie wants most the time, that's the difference

  61. if a player goes down every time hes touched then football would become a non contact sport.

  62. that still dont make it right

  63. so if young goes down from a small touch its bad but tevez its ok and if fergie does somthing its bad but mancini its ok. i think your showing which team you dont like here.

  64. First off, I'd like to actually see the incident.. not read someone's description or interpretation of a gesture. They can be misinterpreted as Rafa and his apparent 'game over' gesture proved.

    Secondly .. and just for the record .. there IS a difference between a dive (i.e. going to ground when no contact has occured) and deciding to go to ground when you have been fouled.

    It's like saying if a guy decides to hang on to your shorts for 40 yards while lying on the ground as you drag him the length of the pitch and you can stay on your feet .. which Im sure most people could(at a reduced speed obviously!) then he should stay on his feet and if he goes to ground then it's a dive !!

    If a player is blatantly punched in the face by an opponent, does the fact he goes to ground or stays on his feet make it any less of a foul and red card offence.. No it doesn't. It's still a foul.

    In the case your speaking of, the onous is on the referee to apply the advantage rule properly.. If a player is clearly fouled in the box and somehow manages to stay on his feet but said challenge has knocked him off his stride causing him to fluff his shot.. then it's up to the referee to call that foul back and award the penalty. This isn't happening.

    I'm not blaming referees but there is an advantage rule in place to help them with these situations..

    If a player knows that he has been fouled and has a good enough idea that he won't be able to finish the chance because of the foul .. what is he to do ?? Play on knowing he probably won't score after the foul or go to ground and get his deserved penalty ??

    Your insistance that anybody saying anything different from your black and white view of things as being an 'enabler' is unfair and wrong.

    It's time you looked at your view on 'cheating' and what constitutes it because clearly you are 'moralising' to people on this issue, even though you insist that your not.

  65. Well said

    What I meant , but better put..

  66. Cheers mate..

    I thought you articulated your point very well..

    It's just a shame he's chosen to ignore both our comments ,questions and sentiments in lieu of 'easier' or more comfortable to answer comments with the same old rethoric..