Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio has claimed that he will now encourage his players to dive in the wake of a controversial 2-0 defeat at Macclesfield last Friday night.
The outburst comes after Macclesfield goalkeeper Jose Veiga’s challenge on winger Matt Richie went unchallenged as the midfielder elected to stay on his feet in an attempt to score.
Replays show that although contact was minimal, the Macclesfield goalkeeper clearly puts Richie off his stride by clipping his ankles, and denies him a clear strike on goal. Referee Steve Rushton felt that the opportunity to score and the fact that Richie stayed on his feet meant that a penalty should not be awarded, and Di Canio is unimpressed that his player’s honesty reaped no rewards at what was a crucial stage in the match. Di Canio argued to BBC
An outraged Di Canio continued: “From now on I will bring in a different culture because this was a red card and penalty.”
He added: “I’d prefer that they risk getting a yellow card for simulation. My team are the only ones who do not dive somewhere around the field.”
The eccentric Italian then bizarrely described his team as akin to Chihuahuas: “With some players, if he has a Chihuahua character I can’t make a Chihuahua into a Rottweiler. He could be a proud Chihuahua but he remains a Chihuahua.
“So many of the players at the moment are Chihuahuas away from home – this is the truth.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how the officials react in the near future to Di Canio’s supposed change in tactics, and whether his players can change to the more evil breed of dog in an attempt to climb the League Two ladder.