Allardyce: Diving debate needs 'balance'

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has offered his view on the diving debate that currently seems ever-present in English football, stating his belief that decisions made regarding alleged dives need to be more balanced.

Speaking ahead of his side's clash with fellow Premier League new boys Southampton this weekend, Allardyce accepted that diving needs to be stamped out of the game, but suggested that not giving decisions to players who try to stay on their feet was hampering efforts to combat the problem.

He said: "Diving is not what we want – or simulation, as it is called – and I think that the problem lies today with the fact that over the years that simulation has obviously creeped in more and more. It [was] obviously started a little bit more by some of the foreign imports that came into the game.

"But there is another side to that that says that honest players who stay on their feet don't get fouls given to them by referees today."

Allardyce stated that he would never encourage his players to 'feign anything', but believes there is a problem whereby a player staying on his feet – even when contact is made – results in him usually not getting a decision.

"If there is contact and the contact is severe enough, if you try and stay on your feet, then more often than not the referee chooses not to give anything and that creates a bigger frustration and anger in the game than diving does."

The Hammers manager is fully in favour of punishing those found guilty of diving, but maintains that the problem will not go away unless honesty begins to be rewarded.

"If you want to cut diving out, blatant dives, then suspending [divers] would be a good thing.

"But you have got to get the other side right as well and balance that up by giving free-kicks when honest players stay on their feet."

Away from the diving debate, 'Big Sam' has backed the Football Association's decision to introduce a code of conduct for its players, commenting that a code is essential in order to be successful.

He said: "I’ve always had a code of conduct which is signed up to by the players, the club itself and me as the manager.

"I think that to run any sporting industry, or any industry, it has to be run with a disciplined effect throughout. If it has not got any discipline in terms of what is laid down, what we can or cannot do and how we should or shouldn’t react, or act, as members of West Ham United, then it will fail miserably."

Allardyce offered an insight into how the implementation of a code of conduct can help avoid rumblings in his squads, something which the FA and England manager Roy Hodgson will no doubt hope to mirror.

"If anybody has any complaints, then I can revert to the code of conduct and say: ‘Well look, I’m sorry, but it says in the code of conduct that you’re not supposed to do that. You have, so the consequences are this.’ There can be no arguing then.

"Of course, there’s always the right of appeal on anything that may result in a fine, but discipline for everything is imperative if you want to succeed today."

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By Chris Weatherspoon