'Outrageous' dive by Chilean player set to lead to punishment
A Chilean player is likely to face punishment after a blatant, self-confessed dive led to a match-winning penalty for his team.
Jean Meneses, a striker for Universidad de Concepcion, exaggerated his fall in the 84th minute of his team's 2-1 win over Colo Colo in the Chilean Primera Division on Sunday.
The head of Chile's refereeing commission, Enrique Osses, said referee Hector Jona made a mistake for awarding a penalty and for not punishing Meneses for the dive.
Meneses has been called to testify next week before a sports tribunal and is likely to face punishment.
"We are not going to hide what is evident," Osses said, as reported by El Publimetro. "The 84th-minute episode is a non-existent foul that the referee awards as a penalty. There is an obvious simulation of a player that cheats and behaves in a disloyal way towards the game, but the referee is there for that reason -- to see it and sanction him."
Osses added: "The sports tribunal will ensure that there is fair play in football and in this case, there is no doubt that Meneses committed an infraction -- a deceit to everyone -- and deserves punishment."
And the Oscar goes to ..... Jean Meneses of Universidad de Concepcion pic.twitter.com/wV1RXuVcoU— Lrrr (@coldplague) March 21, 2018
When asked about the simulation after the game, Meneses said that he tried to do what he could to earn the penalty.
"[Colo Colo defender Oscar] Opazo touched me, and one has to take advantage that in the area strikers cannot be touched," Meneses told broadcaster CDF, according to El Publimetro. "I played with a little bit of vividness and I let myself fall."
Fernando Manriquez converted the penalty, and Colo Colo coach Pablo Guede was sent off for protesting the decision.
"What happened today is outrageous," Guede said in a news conference after the game. "It has no explanation. You can only laugh. It was not a penalty. I told the referee, 'Are you happy?' I saw from my position that it was not a penalty, that it was a dive. When I complained I was sent off.
"Perhaps when you wonder about the level of Chilean football, you also have to wonder about the level of refereeing in Chile's league. I saw the images and then [Meneses] lies because he said that he felt a slight touch. Come on! He didn't even touch him!"
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.