Everton striker Oumar Niasse became the first Premier League player to be charged with “successful deception of a match official” on Tuesday after diving to win a penalty in a match against Crystal Palace on Saturday, and could be banned for two games.
The Senegal international threw himself to the ground after minimal contact from Palace defender Scott Dann, allowing Leighton Baines to equalise from the spot.
To rub salt into bottom club Palace’s wounds Niasse later scored Everton’s second equaliser as the game ended 2-2.
Players ‘conning’ match officials into awarding decisions in their favour has long blighted world football.
Blatant simulation is often punished immediately with yellow cards — notably when Chelsea’s Victor Moses was sent off in last year’s FA Cup final after a dive earned him a second booking and therefore a red card from referee Anthony Taylor.
However, Niasse’s potential retrospective punishment, the result of a new law introduced in May, opens up a new front in the battle to stop cheating.
“Incidents which suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation are referred to a panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player,” the Football Association said in a statement.
“Each panel member will be asked to review all available video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it was an offence of ‘Successful Deception of a Match Official’.
“Only in circumstances where the panel are unanimous would the FA issue a charge.”
While Niasse is the first Premier League player to be charged under the new law, Bristol City defender Bailey Wright was banned for two games this month after being found guilty of simulation in an off-the-ball clash with Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara during a Championship (second-tier) fixture.
Aboubakar was initially shown a red card after Wright fell theatrically to the ground but it was later rescinded.
Niasse, who also faces a two-match ban, has until 1800 GMT on Tuesday, to respond.