Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes it is a matter of time before referees are guided by video technology during matches.
And the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss says that will offer a more meaningful step forward than the introduction of retrospective punishment for diving.
The new offence of ‘successful deception of a match official’ will be introduced next season in England after being approved at the Football Association’s annual general meeting this week.
Incidents will be reviewed by a panel comprised of a former manager, former player and a former referee, each watching the footage independently. If they are unanimous in believing a player deceived a match official, the sanction will be a two-match ban.
Simulation has been an issue in the game for years and there have been a number of notable cases this season – including Robert Snodgrass’ apparent dive to earn a penalty for Hull against Crystal Palace and other questionable incidents involving the likes of Leroy Sane, Dele Alli and Marcus Rashford.
Guardiola feels referees would be better served by instant video back-up rather than events being reviewed after the fact.
“I think diving is not the most important thing to improve. There are many other cases we can improve,” the Spaniard said. “Sooner or later that is going to happen, the technology (that) will help the referees to be more fair about what happens in the game, to make less mistakes because there are a lot of mistakes.
“It is because football today is quicker and faster than it was before – and they (officials) are not able to arrive in the right moments and sometimes the decision is wrong.”
Swansea head coach Paul Clement also believes any action should be implemented during the game by officials rather than retrospectively after the offence, which could have directly influenced the result.
“Video technology and looking at instant replays of major incidents are the steps that need to be taken,” Clement said. “The problem is if you’re on the end of a potential dive that could cost you points, retrospective action is not going to help you and your team.
“What it can do is potentially help another team as that player could be banned for future fixtures, so I don’t see retrospective bans as the answer. Any punishment has to be done there and then.”
West Brom boss Tony Pulis, though, welcomed the changes.
“I’m pleased it’s the way forward. I don’t think there’s any place for it (diving) in the game,” Pulis said. “We will soon lose all of that if we get a two-game ban. I would most probably fine the players as well and give the money to charity.”
Pulis added: “Every manager and club will say it’s happened to them, but it’s something we want to take out of the game. It’s important we do. It’s a fantastic product, the Premier League, and this will make it even better.”