Cuadrado furor highlights refereeing dilemma

Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:55am EDT
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By Brian Homewood

(Reuters) - Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado's sending-off against Napoli after he was twice booked for diving highlighted the difficulties referees face when they have to decide whether a player is play-acting or has been genuinely fouled.

Fiorentina fans were livid after television replays appeared to show that Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler made contact with the Colombian's shin in stoppage time of Napoli's 2-1 Serie A win.

One fan posted a photograph on Twitter showing the exact moment when Inler made contact with Cuadrado.

The penalty was not given and Cuadrado, already booked for simulation, was sent off.

But there was a far wider context on which referee Gianpaolo Calvarese would have based his decision.

Without the aid of replays, Cuadrado's fall, in which he lifted both legs off the ground and fell forward, looked like a dive rather than a natural tumble caused by a kick on the shin.

That could have been decisive because referees often make their decisions based on the way the player goes down rather than the split second in which contact, often minimal, is made.

"Sometimes, when there is a small contact, it's easy to whistle but if the player makes it look worse, it makes it look like simulation," Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers told Reuters during a UEFA event in September.   Continued...

Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado celebrates after scoring against Pandurii Targu-Jiu during their Europa League soccer match at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence October 24, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi