Yellow Card

Soccer players are commonly mocked by fans of other sports for their flops and other antics used to draw foul calls from referees, but it looks like the UEFA officials are trying to change that perception with some recent points of emphasis.

According to ESPN, UEFA is calling for its Champions League referees to punish players attempting to “dupe” officials with “acts of simulation or by overreacting to light-contact fouls.”

“It represents unfair conduct by players against their colleagues — a bad example of disrespectful behavior,” UEFA chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti said in a statement. “It’s crucial for the referees to be able to read the game and understand the spirit of play in these situations.”

The upcoming changes won’t just affect the Champions League, either. UEFA’s referees also handle international matches between national teams in both the Nations League and Euro 2024 qualifying games.

While this same emphasis will not necessarily be in place for the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year, it’s likely the rest of the world will follow UEFA’s lead if the association begins officiating its games in this way.

So it looks like soon, flopping in soccer could be a thing of the past.

[ESPN]