July 29, MLS Disciplinary Committee suspended Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío one game and fined him $1,000 for putting the game in disrepute by diving to earn a penalty. The incident occurred in the 61st minute of the July 23rd Real Salt-San Jose Earthquakes match which finished 4-0 in RSL’s favor.
The Disciplinary Committee determined that Saborío fell in a deliberate attempt to deceive the officials and gain an unfair advantage. The subsequent foul and penalty kick goal had a direct impact on the match and will impact San Jose’s next match because San Jose defender Bobby Burling was issued a red card after Saborio’s simulation.
Click here to see the incident.
“All instances of obvious simulation and/or embellishment that directly impact the game will be subject to severe discipline, including fine, suspension or both,” MLS executive vice president Nelson Rodríguez said. “We will continue to impose sanctions, and even increase their level, if necessary, in an attempt to eliminate this type of behavior.”
The MLS Players Union appealed on Saborío’s behalf, but the Committee’s decision was upheld by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. Saborío is suspended during Saturday’s game against the Columbus Crew.
ESPN recently released a humorous video that mocks diving in soccer, perhaps sending a message to MLS.
On June 24, the Discipinary Committee fined notorious diver Charlie Davies $1,000. At that time, Rodriguez warned that the League was cracking down on the directive players had been advised of prior to the start of the season.
“This type of behavior tarnishes the image of the League, is detrimental to the game and will not be tolerated.,” said Rodriguez. “Moving forward, all instances of behavior that serves to deceive and that directly impact the game will be subject to severe discipline, including a fine, suspension or both.”
Jon Busch fined $500 for obscene gesture
The Disciplinary Committee also fined San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch $500 for making an obscene gesture to the referee after the official responded to Saborio’s dive by ordering a penalty and ejecting Burling.
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