The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues to surprise at every turn, with skilled play, breathtaking upsets, and VAR controversy dominating headlines. As with every World Cup, the practice of diving remains a controversy.
But in an astounding first, Portugese player Raphael Carlvarinho-Ledesma has taken a ‘medical dive’ - the act of claiming an opposition player has given you an infectious disease, ailment, or virus of some variety.
Long believed to be impossible, the medical dive arose at the 88th minute in last night’s match between Portugal and Uruguay. With scores locked at 0-0 (electrifying!), Uruguayan defender Guillermo von Lichtenstein breathed a little heavily near Raphael.
With a gasp, Raphael plunged to the ground, and began breaking out in sweating, and a fever, all the while screaming ‘Pneumonia! Pneumonia, sir!’ to ensure the match officials would be in no doubt whatsoever which illness he was given.
Like a child (let’s call him Andy) staying home from school because today is the day where everyone has agreed to ‘run away from Andy at lunch,’ the Portugese midfielder desperately appealed to the referee, pointing to his fluid-filled air sacs and difficulty in breathing.
Yet the referee refused to issue a card.
Raphael was left sweating on the ground, facing the very real likelihood he would have to stand up and play on the game, all the while continuing to exhibit pneumonia symptoms. Coughing up blood, anyone?
But then the VAR called a halt to the game.
With ultra-sharp camera technology, they were able to isolate the bacterial particles travelling from the Uruguayan defender, and determine there was a strong chance of the pneumonia virus, and thus, entitle the referee to award a red card.
We urge all players not to take a ‘medical dive.’ And at the end of the day, did you ever really enjoy faking sick, and lying to your parents? I didn’t think so.