- An overly aggressive tackle from an opposing player - a foul
- A minor touch from an opposing player that causes the "victim" to exaggerate impact and dive acrobatically to the ground
- No contact whatsoever, but one which may be close enough to fool the referee with a fake dive.
- Player grips ankle, leg or foot and writhes around in surely the worst pain of the lives
- Player's neck snaps back as if Mohamed Ali has just delivered a right hook and broken the player's nose - what, no blood ?
- The player legitimately looks like he's in some pain from a twist and severe impact with hard parts of another player.
- The player knocks heads with another player - ouch that hurts !
I would like to say however, that having played a little footy in my time and been involved with a few other contact sports, if you're kicked or kneed or otherwise poked by an 'ard body part, it bloody hurts. Keep in mind that there is very little protection worn by a football player. With the slow motion, close-up replays these days, you can tell that some of the hits are quite severe and perhaps warrant the victim's reaction. On the other hand, the same replay shows just how ridiculous some of the faking and exaggeration is as well.
So, the fans have just finished watching the Euro quarter finals and are eagerly awaiting the mid week semis. I would say the refereeing has been quite good and I believe a fair number of yellow cards have been issued for diving. This seems to be a good practice these days and if used more regularly could help reduce the problem.
As for the quality of the footy when players are on their feet - I think it's been marvellous. I think there's really only been a few dull games and most have been close contests with action right up to the last seconds of play. There have been a fair number of upsets, but you can't argue that the 4 teams remaining are worthy contestants.
Well who's it going to be:
The solid, strong and well organized Germans with lots of finishing fire power.
The passionate and driven Turks who never give up.
The fast and powerful finishing of the Russians.
The delightfully skilled possession game of the Spanish.
And let's hope that the players show us their real skills rather than their play acting.