A-League bosses need to stamp out simulation - Merrick
Ernie Merrick wants to see Football Federation Australia take a hard line against divers.
The Wellington Phoenix coach watched midfielder Vince Lia pick up a yellow card for what debutant referee Daniel Elder saw as a foul on Perth Glory's Andy Keogh in the 32nd minute of the Glory's 2-0 win at Nib Stadium on Sunday night.
Television replays a sizeable gap between Lia and the Irish striker when the latter's feet mysteriously came out from under him.
Merrick said the situation was farcical, but put the blame at the feet of the FFA.
"The yellow card on Vince Lia was a bit of a joke when there was no contact on the player.
"You can't blame the referee for that. Unless the FFA do something to stop simulation it's going to continue. We had it a lot last week, we had it this week. It didn't affect the outcome of the game, don't get me wrong, but it's totally out of order."
The previous weekend the simulation took on a different look when Melbourne City beat the Phoenix 1-0 at Westpac Stadium.
City were reduced to 10 men for the last 30 minutes and proceeded to make the most of every foul they suffered.
In the 89th minute, City centre back Michael Jakobsen went down clutching his back after Roly Bonevacia had brushed past him, placing a hand on the small of his back.
Jakobsen tried to get back up without treatment from the City medical staff, but his goalkeeper, Dean Bouzanis, pushed him back down so he could waste more time.
It's that sort of absurd histrionics, as well as dives like Keogh's, which put casual fans off football.
Never mind as well the fact when terrible challenges do go in, and players get injured, the referees don't administer the correct punishment.
Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss was on the receiving end of a studs-up challenge from Perth's Joel Chianese, while on Friday, Adelaide playmaker Sergio Cirio suffered a serious knee injury when Western Sydney's Jack Clisby went flying into a challenge.
Clisby received a yellow card. Play on was the call after Chianese's challenge. Both could easily have been red card offences.
The FFA, as arbiters of the Hyundai A-League, should do more to stamp out both acts of thuggery and simulation.