Faking an injury is a controversial football tactic that has been around since the sport’s inception. We’ve got to admit, it’s not ever part of our games. But should it be?
Why do football players fake injuries? Are they just trying to get a break or are they doing it for some larger purpose?
We’ve dug out the truth about faking injuries in football and why it continues to be a contentious issue among players, coaches, and fans alike.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 5 reasons for faking injuries in a football match.
- 2 Why do football players fake injuries?
- 2.1 #Reason 1. To Disrupt the Game and Gain an Advantage
- 2.2 Reason #2. To Slow Down the Game and Regroup
- 2.3 Reason #3. To Deceive Referees and Draw Fouls in Their Favour
- 2.4 Reason #4. To Give Injured Players Time to Rest and Receive Treatment
- 2.5 Reason #5 .To Waste Time When Their Team Is Leading In A Match
- 3 Watch and wonder: Best football flops and fake injuries.
- 4 What is gamesmanship in football?
- 5 What is it called when a football player fakes an injury?
- 6 Is faking an injury in football illegal?
- 7 Is faking an injury cheating in football?
- 8 Is faking an injury a foul?
- 9 The final score.
- 10 This article was written & reviewed by
Top 5 reasons for faking injuries in a football match.
#1. To disrupt the game and gain an advantage
#2. To slow down the game and regroup
#3. To deceive referees and draw fouls in their favour
#4. To give injured players time to rest or receive treatment
#5. To waste time when their team is leading in a match
Why do football players fake injuries?
We’ve all seen it before—the footballer who suddenly falls to the ground, clutching their calf or grimacing in pain.
But is it real? Are they really hurt? Or are they faking an injury to gain an advantage over the other team?
Faking injuries is part of gamesmanship in football and there are a variety of reasons why players do it.
Here are the top 5 motives behind this controversial sport tactic.
#Reason 1. To Disrupt the Game and Gain an Advantage
The most common reason for players to fake injuries is to disrupt the game and gain an advantage.
This can be done by slowing down play, distracting defenders, or drawing fouls in their favour.
By feigning injury, players can buy their team some much-needed time to regroup or take a break from the action without having to worry about their opponents making any sudden moves or taking advantage of them.
While this may seem like cheating, it is generally accepted as a tactical way to gain the edge over the competition.
Reason #2. To Slow Down the Game and Regroup
Football matches move quickly and it can often be difficult for teams to keep up with one another on the pitch.
By faking an injury, players can slow down play which gives their team time to reorganise, catch their breath, or switch up strategies without having to suffer any repercussions from referees or other officials.
Some players have been known to ‘take time out’ by feigning injury when they need some extra rest or recovery time after expending too much energy on the pitch. It may not be ethical – but it does happen!
Reason #3. To Deceive Referees and Draw Fouls in Their Favour
Another popular use of faked injuries is to deceive referees and get a free kick.
This can work both ways; if an opposing player gets too physical with one of your teammates, you may fake an injury or a ‘dive’ so that the referee sees it as a foul and awards you a free kick or penalty kick.
On the other hand, if one of your teammates looks like they are going to be sent off for committing a foul on an opposing player, faking an injury may help convince the referee that it wasn’t deliberate and should not be punished. It wasn’t me!
Reason #4. To Give Injured Players Time to Rest and Receive Treatment
Some injuries simply cannot be rushed through no matter how hard you try.
So sometimes players have no choice but to fake them in order to get some rest and receive treatment from medical personnel during a game without having to leave the team or pitch entirely.
This allows them to keep playing while still giving them a chance at healing properly so that they don’t aggravate any existing injuries even further.
Reason #5 .To Waste Time When Their Team Is Leading In A Match
Another reason why some players may fake an injury is simply as a way of wasting time when their team has taken the lead late in a match, allowing them precious extra minutes on the clock which could make all the difference between winning and losing (or drawing!).
Although this tactic may seem unsporting on its face, it is often used by coaches as part of their game plan when they want their team to hold onto their lead.
It means full-time can be reached without being caught out by opponents who are desperately trying for an equalizer just before the whistle blows at 90 minutes!
Watch and wonder: Best football flops and fake injuries.
Here’s a hilarious compilation of the best flops, fake injuries and drama straight from the likes of Neymar, Suarez and the pros!
What is gamesmanship in football?
Gamesmanship in football involves players attempting to gain an advantage over their opponents by deceiving referees, distracting defenders, or exploiting loopholes in the rules of play.
“The use of dubious (although not technically illegal) methods to win or gain a serious advantage in a game or sport. It has been described as “Pushing the rules to the limit without getting caught, using whatever dubious methods possible to achieve the desired end”.
In it’s own way, it’s a skill-and a talent!
Ultimately gamesmanship is seen as a way of gaining an edge that doesn’t involve breaking any rules – but it often divides opinions amongst fans and players alike!
It’s certainly one way for players to show off their creativity, cunning and acting skills when it comes to outsmarting the opponent!
What is it called when a football player fakes an injury?
Footballer often get a bit of stick for “acting” when they take to the field but what many need to recognise and appreciate is the skill involved in a good old fashioned flop.
Yes, the art of faking an injury to gain an advantage is known as simulation, but it can be surprisingly effective when done well.
Simulation isn’t just bad acting either – sometimes it’s superbly choreographed!
It’s all about drawing the referee’s attention and creating time for another attack – if that takes a little light dramatization then so be it!
Is faking an injury in football illegal?
Faking an injury has been seen as a serious offence in the football world for some time, and it can land players in trouble.
It’s considered a subset of Unsporting Behavior, and FIFA Laws of the game state that it is a cautionable offence.
This means that if you’re caught pretending to be hurt during a match, then you could be punished by way of a yellow card or worse.
However, it seems the fairest punishment may simply be knowing that everyone knows you were not really injured – playing fair is always going to carry more kudos than any on-pitch theatrics!
Is faking an injury cheating in football?
As any football fan knows, tricks and deception can play a key role in coming up with creative plays and winning games.
But when it comes to actually faking an injury during a match, the question of whether or not it’s cheating is debatable.
On one hand, trying to deceive the ref may seem like cheating to some fans, but on the other hand, good strategists know that there are sometimes ways to gain an edge and win a game without breaking any of the written rules or regulations.
Of course, it’s also possible that players fake injuries simply as a way of having an “off” day and escaping punishment for not performing their best – this debate likely won’t be resolved any time soon!
Is faking an injury a foul?
Whether it’s the World Cup or a friendly game of pick-up between some buddies, play fair!
Faking an injury in football is not only against the rules–it’s also bad sportsmanship and detrimental to the spirit of the game.
That said, all jokes aside, this actually is serious business when it comes to official matches.
According to the rules of football, any attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (aka “simulation”) is deemed unsporting behaviour and misconduct punishable by a yellow card.
So think twice about trying that dramatic dive next time you’re out on the pitch!
The final score.
Faking injury or pretending to have been fouled is a form of simulation and unsporting behaviour which could get players in trouble with the referee – so it’s best to stick to fair-play tactics when looking for ways to win!
We’re still on the fence about bringing some theatrics to a match.
Wherever possible, rely on good old fashioned skill and strategy rather than shady tricks – that way everyone wins! Good luck out there!
Play fair. Play hard. Enjoy the game!