London: West Ham's Manuel Lanzini has been charged over diving to win a penalty against Stoke City, the second Premier League player to be targeted under new rules aimed at stamping out cheating.
The 24-year-old Argentine went down when challenged by Erik Pieters and West Ham captain Mark Noble converted from the spot to give the visitors a 1-0 lead on Saturday.
The decision infuriated Stoke manager Mark Hughes, who is under intense pressure following the 3-0 home defeat, which leaves his side a single point above the Premier League relegation spots.
Lanzini has until 1800 GMT on Tuesday to respond to the charge, which is officially known as the "successful deception of a match official" — in this case referee Graham Scott.
Introduced this season, a simulation charge only comes when there is clear evidence a player has fooled an official into winning a penalty or getting an opponent sent off, either via a straight red card or second yellow.
Decisions are made, on a fast-track basis, by a panel comprising one ex-official, one ex-manager and one ex-player. All three review the video footage independently and a charge follows only when they are unanimous.
If the charge is accepted or upheld by an independent commission, the guilty player receives a two-match ban and any cards involved are rescinded.
Last month, Everton striker Oumar Niasse was banned for diving to win a penalty in his side's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
In Monday's Daily Mail newspaper, ex-referee Graham Poll wrote that he thought Lanzini would avoid a charge, describing it as "a bit of a dive but not an outrageous" one.
Speaking to reporters after Saturday's game, Hughes said, "I've seen it again. The guy's dived. He's drawn the challenge. He's a clever player."
"It sounds like sour grapes when you talk about people getting punished retrospectively. It doesn't help us now," he added.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Dec 18, 2017 20:31:07 IST