Australia announce crackdown on diving

SYDNEY - Australia soccer officials have introduced tough new laws designed to stop players trying to con referees by diving. The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) announced on Friday it would impose two-match bans on players found guilty of diving, or "simulation", to win a penalty or have an opponent sent off. "I think everyone - fans, players and media - believe that simulation is unacceptable," FFA Chief Executive Ben Buckley announced on Friday. The FFA's judicial panel was also given new powers to review matches and hand out retrospective suspensions for incidents that were missed by the referee. Red cards can be rescinded for players wrongly sent off. "I am sure this change will be appreciated by the whole football community," Buckley said. The new laws will come into immediate effect when the A-League season starts next week. Australia have long been opposed to the culture of diving and are one of the first professional leagues in the world to impose mandatory sanctions against players found guilty of cheating. "It is important to us that the A-League's disciplinary provisions are not only consistent with those of the sport internationally, but also with community expectations within Australia," Buckley said.