i did a veteran game and a few players of a team is not satisfied with a two decisions against them within minutes.

a while later, i feel that particular player defender is trying to test me. a long ball is send towards him from the opponent, and when he clear the ball, an opponent was trying to block the clearance. i saw no contact or late tackle, so there is no foul. at the same time, he shouted for pain and holding his ankle. i knew that it is fake.

after a second or so, he shouted “good call, referee”, which definitely not a praise.

is this unsporting behavior? what should i do if i encounter such acting again? i know that simulation in the penalty area appealling for penalty is a caution, but this is different situation.

USSF answer (July 30, 2008):
No matter how hard we try, not all players will be satisfied with our decisions. What the player did was to express his dissatisfaction openly. The first act, simulating a foul, with a slight hint of feigning injury by crying out in pain, is a cautionable offense (unsporting behavior). The second act, “Good call, referee,” was dissent, also a cautionable offense. How you deal with these situations is a measure of your ability to manage players.

Much of it depends on how confident you are in dealing with such situations. You will find that this varies from game to game, from team to team and from player to player. Caution this player if need be, but if the rest of the players seem satisfied with what you are doing, then simply have a quiet word with the dissenting player. Remind him that he has committed two cautionable offenses and could already have been sent off. Then warn him that further acts like these will not go unpunished. Finally, do not forget to follow through if these or similar acts occur again.

Finally, just to make it clear to other readers, it is not only simulation in the penalty area, but simulation anywhere in the field in an attempt to influence any decision by the referee (is or is not a foul, is or is not misconduct, is or is not a red card instead of a yellow card) is itself misconduct.

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