Do Soccer Players Fake Injuries? (Explained)

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Do soccer players fake injuries?

Before giving an answer to that question, keep in mind that Soccer(aka football) is a beautiful and exciting game.

But this game is full of flopping, faking, diving, falling on the ground, or crying when you are hit on the leg, and then suddenly getting right back up a few seconds later and running around as if nothing happened.

Now, does it mean they pretend to be hurt? Do soccer players fake injuries, really?

This is what you are going to find out in this article.

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Do Soccer Players Fake Injuries?

Not exactly. Faking an injury would mean leaving the pitch and penalizing your team or missing a couple of games in the season. Rather, most soccer/football players exaggerate a foul to influence the referee’s decision.

Although this is a very bad practice used by many soccer players nowadays, nobody condemns this act except the fans who tend to often criticize those actors.

How Do They Pretend To Be Hurt?

This usually occurs when a player goes in contact with another player in a game. The player can pretend to be hurt so the referee will sanction the player who committed the foul.

All the player needs is a slight contact to pretend to be hurt.

This has become a trend in soccer/football and as stated earlier, this is very annoying for the fans who want a game full of skills, Fairplay, rather than seeing players rolling on the pitch every time there is a contact.

But why do players really exaggerate a foul?

Why Do Soccer Players Exaggerate Their Injuries?

Do soccer players fake injuries - Neymar during a brazil national game rolling on the ground

Some soccer players will exaggerate a foul or injury either to waste time during a game or sometimes to influence the referee’s decision on a yellow or red card to the opponent.

Let’s explore both ideas to have a better understanding.

1-To Waste Time

This happens a lot in football where we see the goalkeeper, for example, faking an injury during the last minutes of the game to waste time. This is of course when his team is winning the game.

Although it’s considered an anti-game for a lot of people, players tend to do it more and more.

A recent example is during the African Cup Of Nation that took place in 2022, during a game between Gabon vs Ghana, Ghanaian players were leading 1-0 and started spending long minutes on the ground to waste time. But of course, Karma does exist, Gabon ended up equalizing.

2-To Influence A Referee’s Decision

Sometimes, even slight contact can make a player exaggerate with the only purpose of the referee to sanction the offender.

Referees tend to be influenced by the severity of a player injury. Depending on the severity of the foul, the offender can be sanctioned with a red card. This is exactly what those “exaggerators” want.

Note that sometimes, a player will claim a foul when there was even no contact. They do it mostly when a player already has a yellow card. They try to influence the referee to give a second yellow and therefore, a red.

Usually, teams use their best dribblers to provoke defenders and search for fouls. We often see it with Neymar.

But thankfully, there is a sanction for players diving and faking fouls as well. This sanction results in a yellow card.

Now, there is VAR to notice every single thing happening on a soccer pitch.

Also read: Can you play soccer in the rain?

VAR, The Perfect Solution?

VAR should clean up the game and see a higher quality brain of football with honourable players trying to win by their hard work and talent and not by trying to get penalties and fouls.

Unfortunately, VAR isn’t perfect. It can ruins football fans’ emotions sometimes. Because the reality is football is not just a game.

Imagine scoring a last-minute goal that can allow you to go through. Then, there is a VAR to deny your goal. This will obviously ruin your emotion, but most importantly, the people watching the game. This is the wrong side of VAR.

Plus, VAR is being used wrongly, especially in the UK.

Sometimes, the referee will make a decision without consulting the VAR. This has caused much frustration in the soccer world.

If the referee decides to award team A with a penalty, team B has the right to call for VAR if they think that decision is wrong.

Unfortunately, this is not being respected.

A perfect example is during the 2020 European Cup that took place in June 2021. During the semi-final between England vs Denmark, the referee awarded the England team a penalty in the extra time. Denmark players contested this decision but the referee still decided to ignore the VAR.

In fact, there was no penalty. That was a wrong decision from the referee…

Another example was during the African Cup Of Nations again, Morocco was awarded a penalty against Gabon. Gabonese players requested a VAR check but the referee refused to check.

Once again, this shows some referees do not respect the rules.

Here Is What VAR Could Do Better:

Allow each team to have a limited amount of VAR challenges at their disposal. For example, three.

For instance, let’s say there is a great free-kick right outside the box for team A. And the team that conceded the foul(team B) claims that the player has dived- if the VAR confirms it was not a foul, the player who dived will receive a sanction and the team B will still have their 3 VAR challenges and the team A only 2 challenges.

If VAR confirms that it was a real foul, the team B that challenged loses one challenge and has only 2 remaining for the rest of the game.

This will ensure proper use of VAR and reduce the number of fake injuries, acting, flops, and fouls that go on with football.

So, now that players know they can get challenged on it and potentially receive a yellow card, they might think twice before faking a foul.

Also read: Is pushing allowed in soccer?

Final Thoughts

Soccer is the most popular sport on the planet and one of the best.

These ridiculous fake injuries, dives, flops, fake pain, and childish behaviour on the pitch have to stop. It is a shame for the sport in general and soccer in particular.

With that being said, players should stop pretending and play with passion, love, and for the team and the fans.

Nobody wants to watch a soccer game full of players diving every time there is a charge or contact with another player.

What do you think about soccer players faking injuries or fouls during a game?

Share your ideas in the comment section below and do not hesitate to leave any questions you may have.

6 thoughts on “Do Soccer Players Fake Injuries? (Explained)”

  1. Hello, Warren.
    This article is a lot of fun for me. We see this nasty attitude from the players and referees on a daily basis. I thought things would be lot better in the game after VAR was implemented as the proclamed, but nothing has changed much. I love your brilliant observation in this article about “what VAR could do better.” Does this suggest that the VAR technical staff doesn’t know how to make the most of VAR in order to achieve a far better soccer result? Or are they simply keeping a loop to achieve their own hidden aim?

    • Hi, I’m glad you have been enlightened by this article.

      As for your question, the answer is simple. They are simply keeping a loop to achieve their own benefits. They know how to use the most of VAR, but they won’t when it favors them.

  2. I know that Neymar is famous for faking and pretending to be hurt until it really happens. And for sure VAR would put an end to his acting career. Or he may even consider hanging his boots and team up with the Avengers in their next movie. Who knows? Could be!

    Anyway, at the end of the day, it’s really annoying to see these players rolling on the pitch every time.

    • Hi, Ann. Haha, that’s so funny! Quite frankly, VAR doesn’t seem to stop him from pretending to be hurt each time he has contact with another player. But this doesn’t take away his talent though.

      Wish you a wonderful rest of the day.

  3. I think some players would fake injuries if they don’t want to play or if they are unhappy with the coach and stuff


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