• Football

Ashley Young 'should be banned for five matches'

ESPN staff
September 16, 2013
Ashley Young goes down under a challenge from Kagisho Dikgacoi on Saturday. Young won the penalty while Dikgacoi was sent off © Getty Images

Ashley Young is likely to be spoken to by Premier League officials after he was booked for diving in Manchester United's win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, but former top referee Graham Poll has said he should be slapped with a five-match ban.

"If a player is continually booked for diving, and it becomes a problem, we'll visit the club and talk the player through what is a dive and what isn't," Premier League spokesman Phil Dorward told the Sun: "Diving is seriously frowned upon in the English game by everybody, including the players, because it's seen that you're conning a fellow professional."

David Moyes on Ashley Young's diving
Young has earned a reputation as a diver - he was spoken to last season by Sir Alex Ferguson - and has won 12 penalties in the Premier League. He did get one on Saturday when Palace defender Kagisho Dikgacoi was adjudged to have brought him down despite replays suggesting there was little or no contact.

"I don't want my players diving," said David Moyes. "Dikgacoi definitely throws his leg out but Ashley put his leg into his leg."

Writing in the Daily Mail, former referee Graham Poll said the FA had to act against Young. "[He] is a cheat and he should be banned for five games, then he might stop diving to try and con referees. Managers' 'having a word' with him has not discouraged Young from diving and so it should be time for the footballing authorities to step in.

"Any change to law needs submission and approval by the IFAB but a disciplinary sanction is not covered in law, it is determined by National Associations. Therefore in cases of undisputed diving, whether punished on the field or not, why not impose a five match ban? I believe that would have a much better effect than the managerial word."

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