Robin van Persie took the strange steps today of admitting that he goes down too easily whilst saying he also despises cheaters and divers.
The Arsenal player has come under some abuse from opposing fans for going down far too easily over the last few seasons.
His comments come only a few weeks after Eduardo, his Arsenal team-mate, escaped a charge through a technicality after he dived against Celtic in the qualifying round of the Champions League.
In the match, Eduardo was clean through against Artur Boruc and dived to win his team a penalty which was scored and effectively ended the tie as a competitive fixture.
After the match, the SFA lobbied to UEFA's Control and Disciplinary committee who chose to ban Eduardo for two games for his simulation.
But Arsenal launched a defence through a team of lawyers and they were able to prove that UEFA had not made the decision scientifically and the ban was rescinded.
In a recent interview, Van Persie was aked if he ever exaggerated a foul: "Yes, I have. Sometimes when you are in the middle of the action and you get a little push then you are in the right to show the ref that you are pushed.
He added: "That's not really diving. It's just showing, 'Come on, he just pushed me, so I can't score now.'
"You sometimes have a little movement with your arms or with your body, but I don't think that's really cheating.
"It's never my intention to dive, anyway. It is a bit tricky, I have to say because I am against divers. It is just not honest.
"But it is difficult because, sometimes, like I had a little moment against Manchester United (in the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford last month).
"For example, after the whole Eduardo thing, when I had the ball on the right side and I cut it back.
"(Patrice) Evra gave me a little push—a really little one—but it sort of outbalanced me. I just fell down and the whole stadium started to boo me. I was, like, 'Come on, can't you see he pushed me?'
"Some people don't see these little pushes and they can give you a whole different picture to what the situation really is."
Van Persie's admission of his exaggeration is a sad one for football and for Arsenal who made a stern case for Eduardo's ban to be removed and here they have one of their main players, less than one month later, admitting that he goes down far too easily.
Diving is a disease within the sport, it questions the integrity of your opposing player as well as your own team-mates and the referee, but most importantly, the supporters.
It was interesting to see how many fans defended Eduardo's dive against Celtic, the most common argument being, "if some other player like Steven Gerrard dived then so should we."
There is no argument there what-so-ever. It's wrong to dive, to cheat. And just because someone else does it, does not mean that you lower yourself or your team to those standards.
Your own personal pride and integrity are more important, and the integrity of the game should be defended against cheaters and divers, one of the lowest forms of cheating on the pitch, akin to spitting in an opponents face.
That a player should admit that he goes down too easily can be taken both ways. Is it good that he has admitted this?
Yes, if he stops.
No if he does it in the future, and if his manager should defend him after doing it.
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