It is far too common to see players faking injuries in football matches. It happens over and over again, in every match, every few minutes.
Players dive trying to deceive referees in hope they will gain advantage over their opponent; and sometimes they do.
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
In a 2006 World Cup match, Drogba fell in an unusual way after a challenge. The posture was later identified by a University study as the “Archer’s Bow” pose, a behaviour directly tied to deceptive intent.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
After kicking the ground and falling, Cristiano Ronaldo addresses the referee during a friendly match against Netherlands in 2018. His energetic plea for a penalty was refused.
Our team set out to measure the diving phenomenon for the first time ever.
We tracked dives and their impact during the 2018 Men’s World Cup in Russia and the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
Unfair cards were produced
Unfair goals were scored
Times the score advantage changed
Players in all positions dived, including defenders and goalkeepers
Distribution of all diving players, grouped by position. The width of the coloured lines indicates how many players dived the number of times shown on the vertical axis.
Players who played one, two, five, seven matches without diving. These are the unsung heroes of the World Cups:
Deceiving the referee is explicitly forbidden by the laws of the game.
… to succeed