Ex-Premier League referee and former head of PGMOL Keith Hackett has urged Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to “whisper” to Mo Salah that he shouldn’t go down so easily.
Salah has been consistently criticised for going to ground too easily during his time at Liverpool with David Moyes accusing Salah of diving to win a penalty in the Reds’ victory over West Ham at the end of October.
“It’s not the sort of football I want to be involved in,” Moyes said after the match.
Salah has been a brilliant addition to the Premier League since moving back to England in 2017 with the 28-year-old scoring 119 in 192 matches in al competitions for Liverpool.
However, Hackett would like Klopp to have a word with Salah in an attempt to get him to stay on his feet more.
“I think that what he does is, he puts a degree of pressure on the referees to make certain that he’s getting the right view and the right viewing angle,” Hackett told Football Insider.
“The referees have got to move in relatively close to see what level of contact there is and whether he’s going to ground before the contact is made.
“This is a challenge to referees, a player of this type. They’re players that easily go to ground. There are times when Salah goes to ground that gains nothing and the referee does nothing.
“For me, this whole area of acts of simulation to deceive a referee needs a clampdown. It needs referees at the start of next season to say ‘Right Ok, we’re going to try and cut this from the game.’
“I would like his manager (like Klopp) to whisper in his ear and say ‘Look, come on…’ But the game is different at a professional level. It’s almost win at all costs.
“There’s an element of boy who cried wolf here. I’ve seen incidents where Salah has been fouled and not been given the penalty kick so it does work both ways. The reputation is built and there’s no question that referees can be conditioned. In the modern game, referees are more prepared and there’s no question he’s got that reputation.”
It is not the first time a former Premier League referee has been critical of Salah, with Mark Halsey saying the Liverpool star should have been punished for his “act of simulation” against Newcastle United on Boxing Day 2018.
“I find it incredible Mo Salah’s act of simulation was not even passed on to the FA’s independent panel,” Halsey said at the time.
“Surely cases of this nature should automatically be looked at by the panel. Otherwise, what’s the point of it?
“Elsewhere, cases of an alleged act of violent conduct unseen by match officials, but caught on camera, are passed on to the three-person panel of ex-referees and the same should apply for simulation.
“This is not about Salah. He’s a wonderful player for Liverpool but this is about ALL acts of simulation. What was the difference between Salah’s act of simulation and Oumar Niasse of Everton against Crystal Palace last season?
“The verdict on Niasse was that there was ‘clear and overwhelming evidence the player exaggerated the effect of normal contact in order to deceive the referee’. That ruling is no different to what Salah did against Newcastle.
“I have spoken to ex-pro footballers in the last 24 hours and they are all in agreement with me. Simulation is a disease in the game and it’s getting worse. Stronger action is needed and that has to come from the FA.”