20 years ago the word ‘simulation’ was a term hardly ever used in football but today it is used regularly.

Simulation is a sanitised way of describing cheating.

Players dive to win penalties or simulate injuries to have an opponent sent off or cautioned. They try to cheat the referee and more importantly, the game of football itself.

The Scottish Football Association has fairly recently appointed a Compliance Officer to speed up the disciplinary procedures. He is a lawyer and not a football person but he has the responsibility to look at video evidence and decide whether a case should be brought against a player for actions such as simulation.

As part of the speedy settlement of cases, the SFA charged Rangers’ player Sone Aluko with diving to gain a penalty in last Saturday’s SPL match between Rangers and Dunfermline. The referee awarded a penalty kick, Rangers scored and won 2-1.

Ally McCoist, the manager of Rangers FC has openly criticised the fact that a ‘non-football’ person should be in such a position of influence.

I do not agree since I think there is great value in having an independent view in such cases.

Very few footballers become top football administrators – Beckenbauer and Platini are notable exceptions.

The SFA Tribunal decided that the Rangers player had been guilty of diving and banned him for two matches.

In my opinion, there was no doubt that he dived. The referee was deceived and awarded the penalty.

If the referee had seen the dive he would have cautioned Aluko but now he has been punished by a two match ban.

I think this is should have been one match but I agree with the principle of taking retrospective action against cheats.

A major problem in Scottish football, however, is that in a similar case involving a different referee, a different player and a different tribunal, a player who, in my opinion, was also clearly guilty of the same offence, was found not guilty.

If you want to have consistency from referees who have to make an instant decision, you must also have consistency from disciplinary tribunals who can watch replays from all sorts of angles and replay the incident as many times as they wish.

This is, I believe, a major weakness in the new system but hopefully, as more and more cases are dealt with, an essential degree of consistency will appear.

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