31 Aug 2010

A-League declares war on divers

6:45 am on 31 August 2010

The A-League has taken a stand against diving, imposing two match bans on two footballers for duping referees into awarding penalties.

In the first bans of their type, the Perth Glory striker Michael Baird and Central Coast Argentinian midfielder Patricio Perez have been punished after securing game-changing penalties at the weekend.

The A-League match review panel also expunged the Sydney FC goalkeeper Liam Reddy's red card after he was sent off following his challenge on Perez.,

Baird fell after minimal, if any, contact to win a penalty and secure a 2-2 draw in Melbourne.

And Perez fell under Reddy's challenge, winning and converting a penalty which gifted the Mariners an equaliser in their 1-1 draw at Sydney.

Clubs have no right of appeal but both say the rulings are unfair and players have been branded cheats without a hearing,.