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It is perhaps the biggest blight on the game of soccer. The player rolling around on the ground after a seemingly light tackle, yet players act like they just got shot.
It is not a good look for the player and the game when it happens, but it is becoming an increasing trend among soccer players today. SO why exactly do soccer players flop or fake injuries? Read on to find out.
Soccer players use flopping or faking injuries as a type of strategy to manipulate the referee into making a decision that is going to benefit them.
If the referee is made to believe that a serious foul has taken place, then he/she can make a call that will benefit the team and can result in a penalty, free kick, or even a red card to an opposing player.
Why do soccer players flop so much?
As we touched on before it is becoming a bigger part of the game and it is not a good look. For the most part, players will flop simply to get a decision to go their way and in a sense, to manipulate the referee into making a decision that is going to benefit their team.
This is the main reason why people do not like the game of soccer as they see the players as weak and soft for going down to the ground with minimal contact.
The sad thing is that it often does work. Most of the time the player who “fouled” the opposition will get a yellow card but if they are already on a yellow card, players will make the most of any little touch to try and get that player their second yellow card and therefore sent off.
This will then give them an advantage over the opposition, and they are more likely to win the match. Then there is flopping in the penalty area and this is where the introduction of VAR has helped out in this regard.
In days gone by, many penalties were awarded when players went down in the box, sometimes with no contact at all.
VAR has helped with this as replays can be shown to see if there was any contact at all and if there is no contact then the referee can brandish a yellow card for simulation.
So the main reason players flop is to try and get an edge over the opposition by trying to influence the referee into making a decision that benefits their team.
Why do soccer players fake injuries?
Much like flopping, soccer players will often fake injuries to give the impression that the foul was far worse than what it was.
We have seen this numerous times when a player gets tackled and they drop to the ground and roll around like a toddler that has just been told no. All this aims to do is to make it seem like the foul is far worse because it “injured” them.
Now, this does not happen all the time, when players do get tackled and roll around they can be in quite a bit of pain.
But it is almost like the boy who cried wolf in a sense because the player might fake an injury so often that when a foul is committed on them and they do get injured, the referee is less likely to believe them.
It can also happen at corner kicks too with the central defenders. Because they are jumping for the ball, arms will get tangled and they can get hit in the face.
Not a game goes by where there is not a free-kick given for that as the player will be holding his face with both hands and laying on the ground.
Who flops most in soccer?
Now, this is more of a generalization than pointing out a specific player as to a degree, every single player where they are amateurs or professionals will flop at some point during their career.
The players that have the most to gain by flopping are attacking players. This can be for two reasons.
The first is that if they are in the penalty box there is a real chance that they will go down from even the slightest of contact and will be awarded a penalty.
Because goals are so hard to come by, winning a penalty and scoring can be the difference between winning and losing the match.
The other reason is to put pressure on the defenders. If a defender fouls an attacking player early in the match (10 minutes) then that defender is going to be targeted by the whole team.
They will almost try and bait them into a tackle and put them in constant one v one situations in the hope that they will make a reckless challenge and get a second yellow card.
If a defender has a yellow card, the attacking player can flop pretty much anytime there is some contact between the two as there could be a chance that the referee will be influenced by the theatrics of the player and will give a second yellow card and send off the defender.
Sometimes this can go against the attacker if the referee deems that the player is guilty of simulation and in that case, the attacker will get the yellow card instead of the defender.
Who flops more, soccer or basketball players?
Depending on who you ask it can be either of them. Basketball players are just as guilty of flopping as soccer players are and in some respects, Basketball players flop more because there is more contact in their sport compared to soccer.
In a survey done by The Tylt, they found that 50.2% of people think Basketball players flop more and 49.8% of people think soccer players flop more so they are essentially the same and it is not good for either sport. Who are the worst floppers: Basketball or soccer players? | The Tylt