Major League Soccer continues to do their best to stamp out diving, suspending yet another player for diving. The league has suspended Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio for one match and fined the striker after he went to the ground in Saturday's win over the San Jose Earthquakes despite video showing almost non-existant contact with the defender.
"As previously stated, all instances of obvious simulation and/or embellishment that directly impact the game will be subject to severe discipline, including fine, suspension or both," MLS Executive Vice President Nelson Rodríguez said. "We will continue to impose sanctions, and even increase their level, if necessary, in an attempt to eliminate this type of behavior."
The referee incorrectly believed that there was contact with the defender on the play and awarded Saborio a penalty, while also issuing Bobby Burling a red card. Even though MLS has ruled that Saborio dove and suspended him, Burling will still have to sit out San Jose's next match against DC United because FIFA rules only allow for red cards to be overturned if the referee misidentified a player and showed the card to the wrong player.
The MLS Player's Association appealed Saborio's suspension, but commissioner Don Garber upheld the ban so Saborio will miss out on Salt Lake's match versus the Columbus Crew. Players were warned of punishment for diving prior to the season and again after Charlie Davies was fined for diving on June 24. Clearly MLS is taking diving seriously, although an adjustment to FIFA rules so players like Burling aren't also suspended would be nice too.