Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Bale irked by 'diving' yellow cards



Gareth Bale says he does not deserve his reputation as a diver, despite being shown his fifth yellow card for simulation in 16 months in Tottenham Hotspur's 2-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday.

Bale was one of the outstanding players on show at the Stadium of Light but he was booked by referee Martin Atkinson in the 81st minute after going down under a challenge from Sunderland's Craig Gardner.

His every touch thereafter was jeered by the home fans but the Welshman, who scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Aston Villa on Wednesday, said the referee had made a mistake.

It was the third time Bale has been booked for diving this season and means he will miss his side's home game with Reading on New Year's Day due to suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.

"That's the third time now I've been clipped and booked for no reason again," said Bale.

"There's nothing I can do – the referees need to look a bit closer. People think I'm diving when there's contact.

"If there's contact, it's a penalty or free-kick, there's nothing I can do. If there's contact, what do you want me to do – hit my head on the floor?

"I have to put my hands down to protect myself. If people kick me, I'm going to go down.

"It doesn't bother me. People keep saying I'm diving, but it doesn't bother me whatsoever. It's a foul and I know it myself."

Television replays showed that Gardner's knee made contact with Bale's right leg as the former Southampton player sped past him into the Sunderland area, but the Wales international went down in theatrical fashion.

Bale has been shown five yellow cards for diving since the start of the 2011-12 season.

No other player has more than two cautions for the same offence in that time, but Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas believes the 23-year-old is being unfairly singled out.

"It was a big mistake from the referee," he said.

"I understand that reputations can sometimes be created on the outside through the media or situations on the pitch, but it's a bit unfair.

"If you see the images, Gardner is not even focusing on the ball – he goes in and clips him.

"It doesn't mar the win, but Gareth was one game from being clean from yellow cards and it's extremely unfair that he misses Reading because of such a big mistake."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...