If there’s one thing about sport that really annoys me, it’s cheating.

Now I don’t mean in a criminal taking bribes to throw a game kind of way. That’s an obvious one which ruins any sense of sport for everyone – and jail time is a perfectly reasonable solution to that.

What I’m talking about is the casual cheating that goes on. Some players or sports people even think of it as some kind of ‘tactical play’! To win a free kick or penalty means forcing an error from the opponent by putting them under pressure. It does not mean taking a dive and hoping your theatrics convince the ref.

Call 911, he breathed on me.

This kind of thing deserves serious fines and match bans. It’s not how you play a proper game – it’s cheating.

The same thing goes for shirt tugging, psychological BS like name calling or “oops, so sorry my elbow ended up deep in your gut, how did that happen”. Seriously, if you’re resorting to this kind of rubbish, then it’s because you’re not good enough. You’re not good enough to beat your opponent fairly. And you’re not good enough to be out there representing your fans.

Cricket used to be the game held up as an example of how gentleman play sport. That went down the pan too didn’t it. More psychological name calling, manipulating the ball, ‘accidental’ dangerous bowling – then the whole bribes thing.

What has happened to our sport? Why do we sit back and watch players cheating in the world cup – without getting outraged? I don’t care if the ref missed it, I saw it along with millions of other people. Let FIFA review footage after the event and hand out fines, bans or even team disqualifications where blatant cheating is captured on film.

And if you play with mates, or for a local club – set the standard, don’t stoop to this kind of cheap rubbish. You’re better than that.

Let’s Keep Sport Sporting