English soccer introduces retrospective bans for simulation

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez is spoken to by referee Mike Jones after he was shown a yellow card. (Alastair Grant/AP)

LONDON — English soccer is introducing retrospective bans of at least two matches for players who deceive referees by diving to win a penalty or feign injury to get an opponent sent off.

English Football Association officials voted on Thursday to introduce a new offence of "successful deception of a match official" from next season, emulating a law already applied in the Scottish game.

A panel featuring a former match official, ex-manager, and former player will review footage of incidents and have to unanimously agree to charge offenders. This process is similar to the one already used for red-card offences which were missed at the time but caught on camera.

The FA said this will be enforced "where there is clear and overwhelming evidence to suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation, and as a direct result, the offending player’s team has been awarded a penalty and/or an opposing player has been dismissed."