Everton will fight an FA charge for diving aimed at their striker Oumar Niasse.
The Senegal international will become the first Premier League player to be hit by the new offence of “successful deception of a match official” at an independent regulatory commission today.
The FA produced the charge after studying video evidence of an incident during the game at Crystal Palace on Saturday, where Niasse appeared to dive to win a penalty for the Blues.
But club officials will argue there WAS contact, and the player could not avoid going to ground when caught at high speed by Palace defender Scott Dann, no matter how slight the impact.
The FA introduced a new law in May aimed at allowing retrospective punishment for acts of cheating such as diving, and any player found guilty could face up to a three game ban.
“Incidents which suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation are referred to a panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player,” the FA said in a statement.
“Each panel member will be asked to review all available video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it was an offence of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’.
“Only in circumstances where the panel are unanimous would the FA issue a charge.”
Niasse has become the first player in the top flight to be hit with the charge, but Bristol City defender Bailey Wright was banned for two games this month after being found guilty of simulation in an off-the-ball clash with Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara during a Championship game.
The Everton striker won the penalty which allowed his side to equalise at Palace, and then went on to score himself as the Blues took an important point in their fight to escape the danger zone at the foot of the table.
Everton officials submitted a response to the charge last night, and requested a hearing, where they will fight any ban, and argue the evidence is not conclusive.
After the game, Niasse insisted he would be “shocked” if he was hit with a retrospective ban, and he explained: “The contact was on my upper body but when I felt the contact I was in the box so that is it: that is all I have to do, go on the floor. It was because I was running so quick.
“I will be shocked [if I am charged with diving] because there is contact.”
But Dann was livid with the decision and he accused Niasse of cheating. “He has conned the referee. I don’t like to see people getting punished but also I don’t like people diving to win penalties.”
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