- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The only time I ever watch soccer is during the World Cup. And every four years I find the same thing striking: How often players fall to the ground in crushing pain, only to jump up and continue to play. Is it because they are tough? Or is it because they weren’t really hurt?

Like many, I’ve always had my suspicions.

And today these suspicions are vindicated by the world’s governing body for soccer:

Jiri Dvorak, chief medical officer at FIFA, told a meeting of the ruling body’s referees committee yesterday that “too many players” feigned injury for tactical reasons at the event in Germany in June and July.

“Fifty-eight percent of the players who were treated on the pitch during the 2006 World Cup eventually turned out not to be injured,” FIFA said in a statement, citing Dvorak.

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