LONDON: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says he believes overseas players are responsible for the blight of diving in the English Premier League.
On Sunday United come up against Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, who has been booked for simulation three times this season, while rumored United target Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace has also been accused of going down too easily.
Ferguson, though, is adamant that the influx of foreign players in the English top flight is to blame for the practice becoming more widespread.
“There is a connection to the foreign players coming into our game, I don’t think there is any doubt about that,” he said.
Ferguson’s remarks follow the controversial admission by Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez that he dived in an unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty during a league game against Stoke City in October.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has pledged to punish Suarez over his comments and Ferguson agrees that the responsibility to police the matter falls on club managers.
“Do the sanctions come from the club or the FA (Football Association)?” Ferguson asked.
“The FA have a problem because, is it legal? How can they prove a lad has purposely dived? “It is very difficult. The FA have always said that. Does it go to the clubs? At the end of the day, it probably does.
“We did it with Cristiano (Ronaldo). He was only a young boy when he came to us and it took him a couple of years to understand. But after that, he was fine.”