Matt Jarvis and the 5 Most Honest Football Moments

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2014

Matt Jarvis and the 5 Most Honest Football Moments

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth

    In the 16th minute of West Ham's trip to the Emirates on Tuesday evening, Matt Jarvis was challenged by Bacary Sagna in the box. The Hammers winger was almost certainly fouled and could have gone to ground, but he stayed on his feet and was not awarded a penalty. 

    Jarvis was commended for his honesty by Arsene Wenger—because not diving is worthy of praise in the modern game—but was lambasted by Gary Neville for not seizing his chance to win a penalty. 

    Jarvis' virtuous decision leads our list of the most honest moments in football. 

Robbie Fowler

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    Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

    During Liverpool's visit to Highbury in 1997, Robbie Fowler found himself through on goal with only David Seaman to beat.

    The England goalkeeper appeared to foul the Reds striker, which led the referee to award a penalty. However, no contact was actually made, and Fowler tried to persuade the referee not to award the spot kick. When the official refused to budge, he took a weak penalty, only for Jason McAteer to bang in the rebound.

    Fowler earned the UEFA Fair Play Award for this gesture. 

Paolo Di Canio

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Paolo Di Canio may have earned an eight-match ban for shoving referee Paul Alcock to the ground in 1998, but the fiery Italian earned kudos for his honesty at Goodison Park in December 2000.

    West Ham were attacking when it became clear Toffees goalkeeper Paul Gerrard needed medical treatment. The ball was crossed to Di Canio with a clear goalscoring opportunity, but he caught it with his hands so play could stop and the keeper could receive attention. 

    He won the 2001 FIFA Fair Play Award for his actions.

Miroslav Klose

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    In the fourth minute of Lazio's visit to Napoli in September 2012, Miroslav Klose appeared to score from a corner using his hand.

    The referee missed it, but amid wild protestation from Lazio's players, Klose did the decent thing and told the referee what he had done. Not only did the German striker avoid a yellow card, but he got a handshake from the official and plenty of pats on the back from his opponents.

Arsene Wenger

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    Sheffield Wednesday's FA Cup visit to Highbury in 1999 was marred by a bizarre incident of misunderstanding.

    Blades keeper Alan Kelly put the ball out of touch so one of his teammates could receive treatment. Ray Parlour intended to return the ball from the throw-in, but debutant Nwankwo Kanu misread the situation and set up Marc Overmars for a highly controversial goal.

    When the game ended 2-1, Arsene Wenger made the sporting gesture of offering a replay of the match. The offer was accepted, and 10 days later, the Gunners inflicted another 2-1 defeat.

    Wenger, a man whose default reaction is to claim he hasn't seen a controversial incident, earned a FIFA Fair Play trophy for his troubles.

Peter Crouch

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Stoke earned a 1-1 draw against defending Premier League champions Manchester City in September 2012 thanks to a goal from Peter Crouch that appeared to be the result of a blatant handball.

    After the game, Roberto Mancini said that kind of move belonged in the NBA

    Crouch later admitted his sin, telling the Guardian"It definitely hit my hand, I'm not going to lie to you."

    The lanky striker wins points for honesty in his confession, but there will be no Fair Play trophies handed out for the manner in which he kept quiet at the time of the incident!

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