If you are going to be betting on soccer, you want to get your winnings fast. The same can be said for soccer players. Players want as many positive results as they can get, which sometimes means skirting the rules a bit. One Everton player is paying the price for a bit of embellishment that resulted in a goal for his team.
According to the Daily Mail, Everton striker Oumar Niasse has been suspended for two games by the FA for simulation. Niasse is the first player to have been retroactively banned for simulation since the new rule was put into place prior to the season.
Niasse successfully drew a penalty at the expense of Scott Dann in Everton’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace over the weekend. An independent commission reviewed the case, and ultimately came to the decision that Niasse embellished the contact with Dan. Under the new rule, players are eligible to be suspended if it is found that they have duped referees by feigning contact.
Everton appealed the suspension to no avail. Niasse will begin serving his ban on Sunday when the Toffees take on Southampton. The club believed that the contact between Niasse and Dan was sufficient enough for Niasse to go to ground, but, clearly, the independent commission did not see it that way. Referee Anthony Taylor awarded the penalty, Leighton Baines converted from the spot, while Niasse would go on to add Everton’s second goal in first half stoppage time.
Everton interim manager David Unsworth was concerned that Niasse’s suspension could set a dangerous precedent moving forward. “You do need experts who know what a foul is,” he said. “For those who don’t know the game it’s a dangerous precedent that could be set if debatable decisions are given against you. But if there is contact, slight or more, it’s still a foul.”
Unsworth is convinced that Niasse is not the kind of player that would go to ground without a legitimate reason. He added, “I’m disappointed. The referee is right there. There is contact. It’s slight but it’s contact. 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.”
Niasse will also miss Everton’s game against West Ham in two weeks.
Unsworth believes the new rule can work at the Premier League level, but its lack of a concrete definition leaves too much gray area. Unsworth said, “It’s a great rule but it doesn’t change the situation that if there’s contact, slight or not, contact is contact. My view won’t change on that. I think people are going to be very busy if that’s the case. They’d have to look into every decision made in every game across the board.”
The FA looks at footage for cases of simulation every Monday. Any player that is deemed to have executed “successful deception of a match official” is subject to suspension. Only incidents that resulted in a penalty or an opponent being sent off (for two yellows or a straight red) will be reviewed.
Niasse, 27, has scored five times in seven games for Everton in Premier League play so far this season.
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