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Cheating, lying, double standards pervade football

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 15, 2014 at 10:04 am •  Published: May 15, 2014

— THE FALSE "OUR BALL" CLAIM. It's a familiar sight when the ball crosses the side line or goal line: players from both teams instantly raise their hands to claim a throw-in, goal kick or corner kick. Unless it's blatantly obvious who touched the ball last — and sometimes even then — players do this almost instinctively and feign total incomprehension when the call goes to the other team.

— DELAYING THE GAME. If your team is ahead with just minutes left, there's no reason to hurry to put a dead ball back in play. But the ways in which players try to stall the game are anything but sportsmanlike. Goalkeepers suddenly feel the need to manicure the grass to make sure that the ball is situated just right before a goal kick. Players being substituted walk or slow-jog off the pitch, stopping to high-five or hug their team-mates, or tie their shoe-laces, on the way out. Another common delaying tactic happens when a call goes against a player and he picks up the ball to prevent the other team from putting it back in play quickly. Then he pretends to be helpful by throwing or kicking it back to an opponent but making sure he misses him by a few meters (yards), giving his own team more time to regroup.

— DOUBLE STANDARDS. Don't be surprised to find players who commit all of the above exploding with anger when the same transgressions are committed by the other team. Forgetting that just moments ago they were the ones faking an injury, they will mob the referee clamoring for a yellow card when an opposing player attempts the same trick.