Ian Holloway: Referees must not hesitate to issue a card for cheating

No fine: Marouane Chamakh was not penalised by Ian Holloway

I didn’t fine my striker Marouane Chamakh for diving at Southampton last week.

And, no doubt, after my recent criticism of Ashley Young for taking a theatrical tumble to win a penalty and red card in our recent defeat to Manchester United, I will be accused of being a hypocrite.

But while I criticised my Crystal Palace striker for going down too easily immediately after our 2-0 defeat at St Mary’s, after talking to him about the incident, I changed my view.

The first thing Marouane said to me was: “I would have got a penalty for that when I was at Arsenal.”

Which just goes to show that, perhaps, some teams do get the benefit of the doubt.

When I asked him why he chose to go down rather than take a shot, he explained that he didn’t have the time to get his effort away and that it would be better to first go around Saints keeper Artur Boruc.

Chamakh said that, because he expected Boruc’s momentum to take him down, he braced himself for a collision.

And although Boruc managed to avoid careering fully into him, Chamakh still felt there was enough contact to take him off balance because both players were travelling at speed.

I learned last week that maybe some things aren’t as clear-cut as they seem.

And I felt that I had to believe what my player was telling me.

But my opinion on simulation hasn’t changed.

If a referee judges that a player has cheated in a bid to win a crucial decision, then he must not hesitate to issue a card.

If there are some innocent victims along the way, so be it.

 

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