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Blatter: Use video to punish divers, injury fakers

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

By ROB HARRIS

AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) Video evidence should be used to punish footballers who dive, fake injuries or waste time, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Friday.

Seeking to eradicate cheating from the game, Blatter questioned why disciplinary bodies are not using existing rules to take retrospective action.

"Video evidence can contribute greatly to fair play, provided the sport's disciplinary bodies are prepared to use it - and they should," Blatter wrote in his column in FIFA's weekly magazine.

Article 96 of FIFA's disciplinary code states that audio or video recordings are permissible to mount disciplinary cases.

"Video evidence can be used for serious breaches of the principle of fair play such as brawling, spitting at opponents, verbal insults and racist slurs, or for incorrectly awarded red or yellow cards," Blatter said. "In cases such as these we must make use of the avenues already open to us and intervene after the event if necessary.

"In this context, we should include the faking of injury, intentional diving or time wasting in our considerations."

Thierry Henry escaped action for his handball before the goal that helped send France to the 2010 World Cup instead of Ireland. FIFA said it had no legal right to consider the case under its rules.

But Blatter believes that "if the referee does not see unsporting conduct ... during the course of a match, we can come back to it later."

"I am not talking about a new technological aid to be used during matches, but about consistently applying a tool," he added.

FIFA's media department said Blatter's proposals weren't enforceable without going through committees, and were unlikely to be applied at the World Cup in Brazil.

Although technology is now allowed to instantly rule on disputed goals, Blatter does not advocate stopping matches to allow referees to defer to video replays on other disputed matters.

"If we were to permit this it would lead to a flood of appeals that would essentially destroy the game," Blatter said. "The referee's verdict must always take precedence. Once the match official hands down a decision, it must be the end of the matter."

Rob Harris can be reached at www.twitter.com/RobHarris .

Updated February 22, 2014

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