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EPL: FA to punish divers with two-match bans from this season

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English football’s fightback against diving cheats begins on Friday night, when Sunderland take on Derby County in the opening Championship game.

The Football Association will impose two-match bans for players who con referees with simulation.

Players wrongly sent off for two bookable offences, will also have their automatic bans rescinded, if one of the yellow cards was awarded in error due to opponents feigning contact.

The FA decided to move after top managers, led by Burnley’s Sean Dyche and West Brom boss Tony Pulis, flagged up concerns that games were increasingly decided by referees being deceived by fall guys.

From this weekend, the FA will act where there is “clear and overwhelming evidence” of a case to answer, such as Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass falling over thin air to win a penalty against Crystal Palace last season.

A three-man panel, a manager, an ex-player and former referee, will review incidents separately, usually within 48 hours.

 

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