Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

May 12, 2009

taxes and the death penalty …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:46 pm

i figured i`d get onto this before next season started.  cos it will come up.

diving.  someone is gonna dive.  there is even gonna be conclusive video proof in some cases.

in a delicious book called “freakanomics”, these really smart guys tell the story of a day care centre with a problem with parents picking up their children late.  the childcare centre started a $10 penalty on late pickups.  the result?  late pickups went up.  parents who previously picked up their children on time now started to pick their children up late.  given the leniency of the “punishment” and the benefits you get from the leeway to pick your children up at more flexible hours … many parents were incented/motivated to break this rule.  the punishment amounted to a fee, or a tax.

i think the current “punishments” for diving (what is it?  a yellow card?) just do not match up against the potential benefits (winning a match, winning a place in the starting team, having more goals to your name – and becoming a more marketable player … ).  current punishments amount to a tax on usage, rather than a prohibition.  “okay, you can use a couple of dives, but its gonna cost you a card …”

there are other sins that get the equivalent of the death penalty (i am not gonna make any jokes about that poor columbian player …).   match fixing – when evidence of this comes up, trophies are taken away, the police are called in, points are dropped, teams are demoted to a lower league.  the punishments put together for this crime are a genuine  attempt to warn clubs off trying it.  guess it wasn`t enough to put juve off, but hey …

doping – sorry, back to juve again … actually, i know nothing about the penalties for doping, so i might refrain (for a change) from talking about it.  it may be “taxed”.  it may be a “death penalty” offense.  i dunno.    well, i just did some wiki-ing, and i remembered laza and his hair treatment – a year off for using a substance that could mask performance drugs.  adrian mutu did a bit of coke and was banned for 7 months, and sacked from his club … ok, i guess that counts as a serious punishment. apologies to juve, they were not giving their players anything that was banned.

so … back to good old diving.  why is it tolerated?  why is it taxed?  rather than turned into a “death penalty” offence?  one reason could be the difficulty in agreeing on what is a dive, and what is not.  the majority of dives are not as clear cut as last year`s effort by cristiano of AU, nor rivaldo`s dive in the 2002 world cup vs turkey.  how do you “prove” a dive when their has been contact?  even when lack of contact is established, how do you show that player x didn`t just lose his balance, or slip???

one reason is that the whole world is not in agreement on whether diving is a good or bad thing.

i have heard tales of widespread ambivalence in south america to diving.  if you can get one over the ref, get a good result for your team, then aren`t you a good clubman?  somebody to be admired?  you have done everything, EVERYTHING in your power to get the win.

the current environment encourages diving. don`t expect anything to change anytime soon.


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