Is This Destroying Soccer? Embarassing Dives in Last Week's El Clasico

Diving has been the number one marketing issue of soccer which has stunted its popularity in North America. Because no matter how pleasant to the eye the beautiful game might be, if you see players acting like daisies over a simple touch, trying to fool the referee to benefit from a rival's expulsion, it doesn't really seem like an interesting competition.

The Spanish Primera Division's El Clasico is a derby that's been going on since 1929 between two teams that for most of their history, but especially in recent decades, have been among the best in the world. Barcelona versus Real Madrid should be a confrontation that would make any soccer hater have second thoughts and give the world's most popular sport another chance. Last week, all the haters got was a confirmation that soccer is a wimps festival.

Fortunately, we won't be criticized for taking any team's side, as both had fine ambassadors in the diving category this week. But the fact that all these invertebrate actions happened in the same match, and in one of this magnitude, can only leave us hoping for a regulation change by FIFA. Because it's probably time to stop accepting theatrics on the field and start sanctioning with no mercy.

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