The Football Association in its infinite (lack of) wisdom has decided to make an example out of Everton’s Oumar Niasse, making him the first player in the Premier League to be hit by a two-match suspension for diving.
The new rule put in place for this season allows for a panel made of ex-players, managers and match officials to retroactively suspend any player they suspect of deceiving the referees in a game to gain an advantage.
FA charging Everton's Oumar Niasse for diving is pretty ridiculous when Manchester City & Watford went unpunished for more blatant dives. #EFC pic.twitter.com/rAR74NaEvt— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) November 21, 2017
However, the only problem with this is the flimsy case the disciplinary panel have picked to make their stand on. Niasse very clearly has his path to the ball obstructed and physical contact is made by Scott Dann.
What makes it even worse for the panel is their very obvious oversights so far, including the situations shown in the video above - Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva (of Manchester City) and Richarlison (of Watford FC) seemingly going down for non-existent challenges. And these are just three that we could recall, there’s certainly more incidents like this.
Niasse is Everton’s top scorer this season, and the fallout from a poorly-decided suspension like this will be far-reaching to be sure. For one, it’ll certainly give machete-wielding defenders license to attack him at will knowing that a player suspended for diving will likely never get a penalty or a foul again.
Whether Everton choose to appeal this decision today or not, this is a bad decision made by an incompetent disciplinary panel that is going to affect the game negatively going forward.