The beautiful game has recently come in for some harsh criticism as a result of certain 'diving' allegations that have surfaced, most recently involving Gareth Bale and Luiz Suarez amongst others.
Diving is blatantly cheating, and it has been made worse because it is often done in front of thousands of people, so it tends to be theatrical, creative and in the case of the two examples above, sometimes quite bizarre, and certainly always very unproductive.
All types of sport are susceptible to a mentality of cheating as most human beings want to win, but only a relatively small number of sportsmen actually cheat, probably because this small number are competitive and want to win at any cost.
Typically, they end up sullying the game for the rest of us.
Diving in or near to the six yard box is therefore really not doing the sport any good. Besides being an absolutely terrible example for youngsters to follow, it tends to degrade the sport itself, because if the culprit gets away with it, and the ref thinks the fall is genuine and gives a penalty that is then converted, the seriousness of the game is called into question.
Even if the culprit does not get away with it, that particular game might very well be tainted - take Suarez's recent antics as an example - after the game, most newspapers were full of the Suarez incident, rather than focusing on the game itself. This, to my mind, is disrespectful to the other players on the pitch as each one of them has been dishonoured by the culprit.
Harsh measures need to be employed to stamp this out. Automatic sending offs and suspensions will put the pressure on the clubs themselves to instil a culture into the younger players coming through the academies not to do this, as it hurts both the club and the game.
Therefore, within a fixed period of time, say six months, if a player dives for the first time, he would receive a first and final warning, the second time, a sending off and the third, a suspension for a fixed number of games.
This would put the responsibility of preventing such behaviour on both the club and the player, and hopefully eventually stamp this practice out. One way or another, it needs to be, and quickly.
The other burning issue has been the installation of goal line technology. Why is there still a debate?
There have been so many recent examples of referees or linesmen not seeing that the ball has clearly gone all of the way over the line that it beggars belief that this technology is not yet in use. How on earth can it be a bad thing?
Any legitimate tried-and-tested measure which assists the referee in making a quick decision, should be welcomed, and the quicker, the better.
What do you think, should punishment be tougher?