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WE, the undersigned, strongly believe cheating within the game has now reached pandemic proportions. We are currently at the stage where cheating has almost become \'part of the game\' and gained widespread acceptance. We represent a broad cross-section of football fans and we urge the domestic and international governing bodies to take the firmest action possible in arresting the decline of our national sport as a matter of the utmost urgency. Football is guilty of setting the worst possible examples of behaviour to our children who look up to their footballing heroes and copy their behaviour wherever they play. This must stop. We believe the pursuit of financial gain has deflected the focus away from fairplay and decency on and off the pitch and we suggest a raft of new punitive measures be implemented to correct the imbalance - measures stringent enough to dissuade further transgressions by players, managers, and coaches at all levels of the game. The insidious practice of \'tapping up\' or \'unsettling\' players of other clubs needs to be stamped on as it completely undermines the ideas of fairplay and decency and, in that regard, managers and coaches have an extra degree of responsibility. We further believe that financial penalties are largely meaningless to the biggest and richest of clubs and points deduction for those clubs found guilty of cheating is an option which must be seen to be used. Individual players found guilty of cheating on the pitch should be named, shamed and fined, not up to a maximum of two weeks wages but perhaps up to 10 weeks, coupled with a one or two match ban. This would dissuade players from trying to gain unfair advantage during the game, knowing any such transgression would result in such penalties. It is our firm belief that ultimately we all want the same thing. A cheat-free world game. A game free from diving, feigning injuries, mobbing referees, constantly appealing for throw-ins, freekicks, corners and penalties when it


Leon Ruskin leon@lruskin.freeserve.co.uk Jeff Stevens jhs52@blueyonder.co.uk Jason Wise jason@nemesia-ltd.demon.co.uk
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