Former English Premier League referee Graham Poll has stated that Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi deserved to be sent off for diving in Leicester’s 3-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.
Poll stated this in his article in Daily Mail while analysing a similar incident which involved West Ham player Manuel Lanzini who was believed to have also dived but won a penalty for his side.
Ndidi, who clocked 21 last Saturday, was shown a second yellow card in the 61st minute by Martin Atkinson for an apparent dive with Palace already 2-0 ahead.
Commenting on both incidents, Poll who is considered one of the best English referees of the last 25 years in a list maintained by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), posited that the decision not to send Lanzini off was correct.
“It’s a bit of a dive, but not an outrageous dive deserving of an FA charge,” Poll who was also famous for issuing three yellow cards to Croatia’s Josip Šimunić at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, wrote.
“I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense, but that’s how hard it is to referee players such as Manuel Lanzini.
“I can understand why it incensed Mark Hughes, who needed help and didn’t get any.
“Leicester’s Wilfried Ndidi took an obvious dive and it was an easy decision for Martin Atkinson, but Lanzini was different.
“He draws a tackle and expects the contact from Erik Pieters, who shapes to challenge and goes to ground but doesn’t follow through.
“Lanzini’s legs crumble, as players do in the modern game. They will tell you it is to avoid injury.”