Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Tom Williams Leaves a Nasty Taste in the Mouth

After years of hearing rugby fans calling footballers "fairies" and "little girls" about their diving antics I thought it ironic in the light of the controversy including Tom Williams, the Harlequins winger who faked an injury.

It was in the Heineken Cup quarter final against Leinster with 5 minutes to go. The score was 6-5 to Leinster when Tom Williams needed to come off as he allegedly had a cut to the mouth and was bleeding. His blood replacement was fly-half Nick Evans, a specialist goal kicker who had previously been substituted after an injury. Later in the game Evans had a chance at a drop goal that would have won the match for Harlequins, but put it wide.

It was only after the game that television cameras showed Tom Williams winking towards the bench as he came off the field 'bleeding'. Reminiscent of Ronaldo in the 2006 World Cup.

Obviously these actions have damaged the reputation of both English rugby and the Heineken Cup. But I applaud the way that the European Rugby Cup panel have handled the situation with such authority. Tom Williams has been given a 12 month ban and Harlequins has been fined £215,000. I'm sure that if the FA followed suit then there would be considerably less diving in football.