I’m a little perplexed. Why? Well, it’s because of this quote from Kevin Thomson who took a tumble during the Old Firm game at the weekend:
“I’ve had a look at the incident again on TV and I can see why people are saying I was trying to win a foul. But that’s not cheating.”
I’ve now seen the incident which is causing all this fuss and it does look as if he was “trying to win a foul.” By diving!
And support from Fraser Wishart doesn’t change that view.
In this case there was minimal contact by the Celtic player involved and yet Kevin Thomson hit the ground as if shot. The only conclusion you can draw is that he took a dive. Even if, as Fraser Wishart argues, Thomson was trying to get out of the way of a tackle he knew was coming by lifting himself off the ground, the way in which he flung himself into the penalty box is highly suspicious. And of course that, I believe, is key in this instance – the players proximity to the line marking the boundary of the penalty box. I think that Kevin Thomson was actually trying to win a penalty not just a foul. It really does look as if he was attempting to con the referee into thinking that not only was he “tackled” more heavily than he was but that he was “tackled” inside the box. This is what is known as cheating, i.e. to “act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage“.
The fact that Thomson has now been declared fit to play in Rangers UEFA Cup tie on Thursday is, I think, further evidence that he was not as badly tackled as he wanted everyone (the referee!) to believe last weekend.