To investigate the deviance in sport

For my study I am conducting an investigation into the deviance in sport, particularly looking at te much-publicised increase ‘diving’ in professional league football. In my investigation I will be focusing on: 1. What is deviance in sport and simulation? 2. Is simulation ruining football? 3. Why has there been such an increase in ‘diving’ in football? 4. How the officials at FIFA, UEFA and FA are trying to reduce the amount of simulation in football. 5. Performance enhancing drugs and recent incidents involving the illegal substance nandrolone.

I will obtain the data and information for my investigation from the following sources: 1. Internet – has a wealth of sports-related information available through a generalised search or via accessing information from sport-specific sites. The Internet will be my main source of information, where I will be able to obtain interviews with the head officials at FIFA and top professional managers and referees on their views of simulation. 2. Newspapers – are able to provide useful quotes, information and analysis about current issues of deviance. Again I will be able to obtain views and interviews of important managers, players and officials

3. Television and radio – I can see diving and simulation on televised games and I can hear what commentators have to say about simulation. 4. Letter & interview – I will write a letter and get an interview with a representative at Coventry City Football Club asking them a few questions about deviance and simulation. 5. Textbooks – I can gather generalised information about deviance in sport from numerous textbooks. Review of literature For my project I am focusing on the deviance in sport, particularly looking at the much-publicised increase ‘diving/simulation’ in professional league football and also the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs.

My information was gathered from the Internet, textbooks, from television – seeing deviance firsthand in matches and also listening to managers, commentators and other officials talking about deviance and finally from the radio where I heard discussions and interviews which were related to deviance. Meeting objective 1. What is deviance and “simulation” in sport? “Deviance in society is where an individual or group breaks away from the expected norms of the society, drifts away from the structural and functional rules. An example is a criminal who disobeys the rules of society.” Modified and taken from Sport and PE (2000), Crawford.

Sport also has its rules, written and ‘unwritten’. These ‘unwritten’ rules can be referred to as the ‘spirit of the game’, these rules are values and ethics which we expect all Sports-performers to follow. Deviance occurs when participants break these rules, this is known as cheating. There are huge varieties of different forms of deviance – drug taking, Diving is more formally known by the Football Association and The Official Laws of the Game as “simulation.” Referees these days are told that ‘any simulation action anywhere on the field which is intended to deceive the referee, must be sanctioned as unsporting behavior’ which I have obtained from the Referees’ chart and players guide to the laws of Association football (1998). In other words if a player ‘dives’ or tries to deceive the referee that player must be cautioned.

But what is simulation? And what are the different types of simulation in football? 1. The most obvious is the ‘dive’ a player comes under little or no contact from his opponent and he falls to the ground appealing for a penalty or free kick. Trying to deceive the referee. 2. Another form of simulation is the over-exaggeration of the result of a tackle from his opponent. On 27th November 2001, Peirlugi Collina the world best and most respected referee state in an interview “Simulation is the worst thing in football. It’s a cancer in football.” I obtained this interview from the BBC web-site from the Internet, to comply with Objective 2. Is simulation ruining football?

Martin Rogers from The Mirror, has suggested that the recent increase in deviance in sport is due mainly to the rewards, mainly financial in today’s sport. The rewards at the top level of a majority of sport are huge and due especially to the increase of media coverage and commercialization; some players feel the fear of failure too great, and the need to win at all cost, which is why they cheat. Meeting with objective 3. Why has there been such an increase in ‘diving’ in football?

Diving and deviance is an obvious and major problem in football and all involved in football agree that something needs to be done, this is echoed by the president of FIFA Sepp Blatter. On September 26th 2001 he gave an interview obtained from a leading sports website Sportal; he states in the interview that “in the upcoming World Cup that player who dive or cheat in any form can expect to receive red cards.” Blatter believes that video panels are the best way to stop players cheating, he believes that “if players know that the camera’s are watch them, they will behave better and less likely to dive. This is gonna be the major talking point of the World Cup but I am sure that the players, managers, officials and fans would all love to see diving abolished from football. To meet objective 4, How the officials at FIFA, UEFA and FA are trying to reduce the amount of simulation in football?

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