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Australia lead the way in punishing diving

Fifa are prepared to give individual associations the power to hand out punishments for diving. It is widely agreed that the best way in which to do this would be to offer the threat of suspension to those contemplating bending the rules.

Fifa have given their backing to the cause, with each nation now free to impose bans under their own disciplinary rules.

The Australian Football Federation (FFA) are the first to implement these regulations, with two players recently sanctioned for diving in order to win penalties.

FFA spokesman Rod Allen said: "We deem diving as a serious issue in the game and something we feel strongly about.

"We hope that with serious sanction it will be a deterrent. We want to stamp it out."

The FFA claim to have modelled their new disciplinary regulations on those of Uefa, who charged Arsenal striker Eduardo with 'deceiving the referee' during a UEFA Champions contest with Celtic last year.

The Croatian striker later won an appeal against the ban he received, but Allen is confident the initiative will work in the long run.

"It is a misconduct charge for the players - our regulations allow our match review panel to right wrongs they see that happened on the pitch."

In Australia, if the incident in question leads to a major disadvantage for the other team, such as a converted penalty, then the guilty parties face two-week bans.

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