Why Do Soccer Players Fake Injuries?
You don’t have to be a soccer fan to know that some of the players in the English Premier League tend to go down quickly.
Sometimes it looks like they’ve been shot, and they roll around on the ground as though they’ve just been hit by a speeding car before miraculously getting up without even limping after the referee has blown the whistle. And there are plenty of occasions when players feign an injury to try and get the other team’s player into trouble or con the referee into giving them a free kick.
Why Do Soccer Players Fake Injuries?
Well, for starters, it is not against the rules. But in this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the many reasons why players fake injuries and how they can benefit from it. Soccer players are always known for their dramatic gestures. Sometimes, these gestures are genuine, and sometimes they’re not.
The soccer world is a stage, and every player is an actor on it. The players’ behavior on the field is another form of acting. There are many reasons why players fake injuries, but the main reason is to stop the game and have a time-out while they catch their breath or stop the opposition from attacking them.
Another reason players like to fake injury is to win a penalty kick or fool the referee into giving one against their opponent. They will try anything to win a match! A third reason soccer players fake injury is to get someone sent off. If you can’t beat your opponent with skill, you might as well try to beat them by calling one of their best players sent off.
There are five reasons why soccer players fake injuries:
- To attract the referee’s attention
- To create a potential goal-scoring opportunity
- To waste time
- To punish another player
- To attempt to regain possession of the ball
1. Attract the referee’s attention
The most basic reason for a player to fake an injury is to get the referee’s attention.
The referee is the final arbiter of all decisions made on the soccer pitch during a match. What they say is true. If a player wants a referee to decide in their favor, they must be convinced that the choice is correct. This is where faking or flopping injuries come into play.
If a player believes they have been wronged in any way during a game or just wants to gain an advantage over the opposition, they should inform the referee.
To do this, they will stage a spectacular event, such as faking an injury or flopping, knowing that the referee will not be able to ignore it. This is frequently accompanied by the player lifting their hands to ensure that the referee sees them. If a player appears to be wounded, the referee has a duty of care to determine if the injury is severe and whether the game should be delayed as a result.
When a player dives or appears hurt on the ground, the referee has no choice but to inspect and decide if the game should be paused or continued. It’s also been proven that if a player is flopping adjacent to the referee, they’re three times more likely to get a favorable judgment than if the referee is far away.
Every player understands that if the referee sees no reason to stop the game, it will continue.
2. Create a potential goal-scoring opportunity
Another reason a soccer player might take a dive and pretend to be injured is to open up a goal-scoring opportunity for their team.
Suppose a player has the ball near the opposition’s goal but cannot produce an opportunity to shoot. In that case, they may decide it’s time to pretend to be injured before the opportunity passes them by.
The objective is that the referee will mistakenly believe the player has been harmed by an opponent and award the “damaged” player a set-piece near the opposition’s goal.
A set-piece near the opponent’s goal is an obvious opportunity for the team to score. A team has a better probability of scoring from a free kick or even a penalty than they would from open play.
3. To waste time
The third reason a player could pretend to be injured during a soccer match is to waste time.
You may have observed that the time does not stop ticking in soccer regardless of what is going on in the game. The referee adds more time to the conclusion of the half if there are any delays or stoppages in play.
However, the additional time provided to the game is frequently inaccurate. Soccer players know that the time added on is often less than when the game was paused.
To take advantage of this, it’s not uncommon for a player to fake an injury to keep the game from continuing for as long as possible.
This will happen when a team is leading or, on rare occasions, when the game is tied, and the outcome would benefit the section of the player who is flopping. The player understands that the rival team cannot score a goal as long as the game is stopped.
Neymar, a Brazilian soccer player, is well-known for employing this strategy. Neymar’s movements have been studied, and it has been shown that he flops once every 8 1/2 minutes while his team is leading!
4. Punish another player
Another reason a player would pretend to be injured is to get another player punished.
During a soccer game, two (or more) players on opposing teams can irritate and become progressively upset with each other. This can lead to a player attempting to punish the other opponent unfairly.
One technique is to persuade the referee that the opposing player has committed a foul and needs to be penalized. To accomplish this, a player may imitate an injury while their opponent is close by, hoping that the referee will assume their opponent wounded them.
One of the main reasons that faking an injury is deemed unsportsmanlike or just unfair is this. It’s not a good look to try to get a player punished for no reason.
5. Attempt to regain possession of the ball
The final reason a player can fake an injury is to reclaim possession of the ball after it has been lost.
A player may flop after being tackled or just after losing possession of the ball due to an opponent’s pressure beside them.
Rather than allowing the opposing side to go away with the ball, a player may choose to fake or feign an injury in the hopes of the referee calling a timeout and returning possession of the ball to the person who had it originally.
This is thought to be a cheap approach that merely indicates the player’s failure to keep or efficiently use the ball. A better player would strive hard to get the ball back for the team or not lose the ball at all!