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Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK

A let-off for Rivaldo?

Rivaldo escapes suspension but is fined £5,180 for play-acting during Brazil's opening match against Turkey.

Should the Brazilian playmaker have been forced to pay a higher price?

Rivaldo hit the floor clutching his face after Turkey's Hakan Unsal had apparently kicked the ball at his legs.

Unsal, who had already been booked, was sent off while the Barcelona player jumped to his feet and continued playing.

Rivaldo is the first player to be punished in Fifa's crackdown on "simulation", but many will feel he has got off lightly.

Should Rivaldo have been banned?

Have your say

Rivaldo should have been suspended for two matches. It is the only way to show these cheats that these acts are not acceptable!
Brian Rothwell, England

I am interested in knowing how the amount of the fine was determined. I think that fining players is dangerous because the richer a player is the less impact the fine has. This may be the case here.

The punishment should have taken a different form - it should have been related to the game of football and not the bank account of the footballer. A post-match yellow or red card or some other such punishment would have been more appropriate.
Bradley Wood, S.African in UK

Rivaldo should have been sent off for his actions. Would he have rolled around in agony if he had been in a wall after being struck by a free-kick? A ban would be a suitable deterrent for players are so rich they don't care about fines or have any concept of fair play.
Chris Stewart-Smith, UK

The punishment meted out to Rivaldo is a disgrace. He should have been banned for two games and the guy he got sent off should have had the red card cancelled. What is £4,500 or £45,000 to this guy? It was a totally shameful act and the punishment speaks volumes about FIFA the most corrupt sporting regime in the world.
Dennis Smith, England

" Rivaldo should have been suspended for two matches. It is the only way to show these cheats that these acts are not acceptable! "
Brian Rothwell, England

At the very least, Rivaldo should have been fined and given a one match suspension. The World Cup is a fantastic forum for the promotion of soccer around the world and this blatant cheating does nothing to enhance the image of the game.
Alan Galley, New Zealand

An unwelcome and unnecessary blemish on a near-perfect football match, and a Brazilian performance. Rivaldo should have got a yellow card. Furthermore, this was yet more evidence of the benefit of a proactive video ref who can see incidents that the other officials might miss. When the TV audience sees the offence and the officials don't the game itself suffers - and it doesn't have to.
Alan Newman, England

The most irritating aspect is not so much the event, but the completely unrepentant attitude of the player who admits he did it to get a player sent off.
Alex Gray, UK

This behaviour should be stamped out at the World Cup and eradicated from football as a whole. After all, the World Cup is used as a vehicle for influencing how the laws of the game are applied at every level. The standards that football aspires too are set at the World Cup. Rivaldo has shamed himself, Brazil and the game.
Andy Forrester, Scotland

If this isn't yet another example of the serious need for a 'replay judge' or at least a TV screen for the fourth official to glance at, then I don't know what is.
Darren Turpin, England

Football is only a game, and the worth of the game is down to how you play it. If you play like a gentleman and win with honour you deserve the victory, if you cheat you damage your own self worth, and that of the game you play, it will eventually become meaningless. If this is allowed to continue, the World Cup will become a worthless bauble. It's a shame some teams don't realise this.
Charlie, Czech Republic

" The World Cup is a fantastic forum for the promotion of soccer around the world and this blatant cheating does nothing to enhance the image of the game "
Alan Galley, New Zealand

Turkey should be awarded the points that Brazil got for winning the game.
Colin Carlton, England

Reduce Turkey's Hakan Unsal to yellow card and give one game suspension to Rivaldo with a red card. The amount that was fined is an absolute joke. You want to send out a message, then, be fair and square to all players regardless what country they represent.
Ajay Dev, USA

Rivaldo was let-off bigtime. I wonder what the FIFA decision would be, had it been Rivaldo who was sent off as a victim of simulation. FIFA simply couldn't dare to lose another star when the likes of Zidane, Kluivert and Mehmet Scholl were already out of action.

Nevertheless, as a Turkish supporter I do not see what justice it would have done to the Turkish team had Rivaldo been banned for a game (or two). It would only serve the other teams in the group, not the victimised Turkish team.
Kadir Bahcecik, Turkey

" Once again FIFA have completely bottled it "
Tony, England

Simple - retrospective yellow card should be given! The offence would have justified a yellow during game so why all the fuss? The Turkish player should also retrospectively have his red card downgraded to a yellow card!
Barry, Scotland

Once again FIFA have completely bottled it and allowed reputation to be placed above integrity. Just because it's Brazil and Rivaldo they don't want to risk upsetting anyone.
Tony, England

What did the linesman - standing two foot away have to say in his defence?
Craig Miller, UK

I strongly dissapprove of Rivaldo's actions, but I am very irritated by the constant imbalance in the arguments about cheating. No country seems to condemn their own players as strongly as they condemn other nations - and England are frankly the worst for this.

" When will the authorities learn that professional football players cannot be punished financially? "
Fiona Butler, England

Why do we still hear about Maradona's goal and Simeone's play-acting but Beckham has been forgiven for clearly and deliberatley using his studs on another player.

I also remember Paul Scholes scoring a goal with his hand. It is exactly the same thing as Rivaldo laughing off is own cheating - he knows his own supporters will think nothing of it tomorrow.
Gethin Rees, Wales

When will the authorities learn that professional football players cannot be punished financially? £5,180 is a mere drop in the ocean of the average bank balance of these players. Yellow and red cards are the only language they know!
Fiona Butler, England

Rivaldo was spotted on video committing "simulation": a bookable offence. Had he been seen during the game, he would have been booked, and not suspended.

" Rivaldo probably has to play football for a minute in order to pay the fine "
Lee Fortnam, UK

If Fifa were to suspend him, they would be setting a precedent for suspending every player seen on video deliberately and cynically committing a yellow card offence - shirt-pulling, time-wasting, etc. "Video Justice" and subsequent suspensions should be reserved for offences of violent conduct.
Alex Barden, England

Players like Rivaldo are supposed to set good sportsmanship examples so others can follow but unfortunately he has done totally the opposite. I love watching Brazilians play but Fifa had that golden opportunity to send a clear signal to all the participants by either banning Rivaldo or heavily fining him for blatantly cheating.
Naveed Aslam, England

The fine imposed on Rivaldo is ridiculous. He probably has to play football for a minute in order to pay the fine. What ever happened to the honour of the game?
Lee Fortnam, UK

" Fifa should've at least made Rivaldo lose the same number of matches as the other player "
Osakwe Ogugua, Nigeria

Rivaldo should have been given a one game suspension for his action. He should take up professional wrestling. Let's play soccer - at least in the Portugal v USA match there was a player booked for diving.
David Ashdown, USA

Because of Rivaldo's antics, one of Turkey's most important players was suspended and they also lost the match. Fifa should've at least made Rivaldo lose the same number of matches as the other player.
Osakwe Ogugua, Nigeria

I think Fifa have been extremely harsh on Rivaldo. If it was a Turkish player, he would have done exactly the same thing. The Turkish player would have got sent off anyway, so what's the difference?
Joe Sheppards, England

The fact that he has no regret for his actions shows his utter contempt for the sport he is meant to be representing. Rivaldo should at least face a one match ban, period. What next, Brazil to win the fair play award?
Mark, the Netherlands

" They need to start using video referees like all the other fast ball sports "
Jonathan Cooper, England

Admittedly, what Rivaldo did was disgraceful. However, taking a good look at the episode, you can see that Unsal's conduct was equally disgraceful. That wasn't a pass. Rivaldo merely acted out Unsal's intentions. Both deserve exactly their punishment.
Tobi Fayemiwo, UK

If an offence is committed on the pitch and not noticed but later discovered on video footage, then the punishment should be the same as if it was committed on the pitch. They need to start using video referees like all the other fast ball sports.
Jonathan Cooper, England

Rivaldo is not the first person who involved in simulation. I don't feel he has got off lightly. Unsal deserved the sent off and he deserved the fine. Diego Simeone escape any fine or ban when he simulates Beckham to be sent off in France 98.
Ryan, Malaysia

What Rivaldo did is considered funny in Brazil. People laugh at the way he cheated. What you foreigners don´t understand is that it's this kind of thing that makes Brazilian football funny and successful.
Fudêncio, Brazil

" The message they're sending out, that the ends justifiy the means, is contemptible "
Michael White, United States

I think we've all conveniently forgotten how we got our goals in the Greece match.
Sally, England

Anyone who has taken the full force of a freezing cold, wet, 'proper' leather ball on an exposed part of the body will tell you that Rivaldo suffered nothing in comparison.
Leigh, UK

Granted, Rivaldo should face a ban. To maintain some sort of consistency, however, the likes of Totti, Klose and half of the Japanese team should also be disciplined for their diving antics.
John, UK

What Rivaldo has done is no different than all the dives that take place in the penalty box. If you're going to penalise Rivaldo, then you may as well penalise everyone.
Ace, England

That Rivaldo is unapologetic about his behaviour is disgusting and reflects poorly on Brazil. The message they're sending out, that the ends justifiy the means, is contemptible.
Michael White, United States

" So much for Fifa cracking down on diving "
David Shepherd, England

He made a complete fool of himself and the replays of it will be shown for a long time to come. Fifa may as well have fined him a penny.
Andrew, Canada

So much for Fifa cracking down on diving - if anything this will only encourage players to do it more - who wouldn't try and get a free kick if they are only risking a few hours' wages.
David Shepherd, England

He's lost a lot of respect from fans all over the world - let's hope he gets a Champions League game in Istanbul as a just punishment!
Jonathan, Denmark

Why doesn't football grow up and use TV pictures to help referees make these sort of decisions.
Colin Mooney, Scotland

The punishment has to be stronger and actually be a deterrent - the fine was like getting charged a fiver for speeding.
Matthew, England

The Turkish player didn't deserve a red card and he now has to miss a match for a minor foul barely deserving a yellow card! I think Rivaldo should get a suspension.
Caroline Jones, England

The blame should lie with the referee - he poorly officiated the game and if he hadn't lost control, the incident wouldn't have occurred.
Dave, UK

It was blatant cheating and a sad day in Brazilian football history. What do the legends of old think about it?
Bob, Scotland

There is far too much feigning injury and fouls and I believe in a blatant case like this then the team should lose a point.
Colin Manning, England

" The bill this will bring to world football can be one Fifa can't pay "
Daniel Denyus, Britain

Rivaldo says you will never stamp out simulation; you would if the penalty was higher enough. Suspend him or deduct points from the team - you would soon see it stop then.
Anne Vicary, England

He should have been banned for a match at least. Fifa always had a soft spot for big football teams. Fifa are saying that any player can repeat this providing he can pay the fine
Ashok, UK

If it had been anyone from a smaller team I am sure much stronger action would have been taken. Rivaldo should have been banned for at least one game. A fine of £5,180 is nothing; it lets him get away with bringing the game into disrepute.
Gordon Chaloner, England

Rivaldo's actions were disgraceful and he should have been banned for the rest of the first round if not the rest of the World Cup. Hakan Unsal's red card should also have been rescinded. But that would have upset whoever sponsors Rivaldo/Fifa and as we know Fifa run football for the good of itself and it's sponsors, not for the good of the game
Russ Hunt, UK

I hope he is booed by fans worldwide from this day onwards until he apologises.
Mike Allan, Malaysia, UK ex pat

To suspend him would have robbed us all of the opportunity to enjoy his undoubted talents, but a much larger fine should have been imposed. The Turkish player could even claim to be just passing the ball back to him. Stuart, Wales

" What a shock, Fifa drop the ball again "
Jonathan Wells, UK

If they had banned him, it would have sent out a message to everyone. Instead lily livered Fifa have let him off. What would have happened if it was a Turkish player who had cheated?
John McDonald, UK

The fine is a joke. He would've made that amount during the short time he was lying on the ground feigning injury. A one match ban is appropriate.
Peter, Scotland

What a shock, Fifa drop the ball again. Here they had a perfect opportunity to send out a message against cheating. The cameras hand them undeniable evidence on a world renowned player, the player admits it and he is let off with a fine that is meaningless to him. They should have hit them where it hurts, suspended him and reduced Unsal's red card to a second yellow.

They had a chance to show that no one is above the rules. As it is all they've proven is that cheats do prosper.
Jonathan Wells, UK

I have seen Brazil being assisted by referees to win at least one game in the last three World Cups. How does one explain why the referee gave a penalty for an incident which occurred outside the box? Rivaldo cheats the referee and the referee sends off Hakan Unsal. If this is how Brazil has built its name then I say football is a game of cheating.
Bernard Phiri, Zambia

A red card would have sent a clear message that cheating is not desirable and if caught you will be punished severely.

" He would've made that amount during the short time he was lying on the ground "
Peter, Scotland

They have merely denigrated this to a farcical level and left other players with no fear that if caught anything serious will happen.
Paul Gibson, Scotland

We watch the World Cup to see great players like Rivaldo in action. If they are suspended the World Cup is left with all pots and pans. So it's a good decision to me. But of course he has to be careful next time.
Surajit Bhuniya, India

The most disappointing part of the whole fiasco is Fifa's inability to ban one of the world's most exciting footballers for fear of disappointing fans.
Kit Gulliver, England

The most appalling elements in this ridiculous simulation case are the comments of Rivaldo himself: "I don't regret anything. This is something that will never end in football." For the sake of fair play the executives should prove him and all the other "divers" wrong and suspend them for at least one game.
Bernd, Germany

The fine for Rivaldo is a very small amount for the stolen points of a country, and the bill this will bring to world football can be one Fifa can't pay.
Daniel Denyus, Britain

" Truly great players just don't do it. "
Martin Woollatt, England

Rivaldo did go over the top on this one. But it's just as bad as a playing diving to get a penalty
Ben, UK

This was an opportunity for the football authorities to make clear their intentions on players who are play acting. They should have made an example of Rivaldo and banned him for a couple of matches. As a Man Utd supporter, I have never liked him since he "dived" twice in a game to earn Barcelona a 3-3 draw. I feel the football authorities have lost the chance to stamp out the cheaters that spoil the game.
Terry McCann, Oman

Rivaldo is nothing more than a cheat. Unsal misses the next game; Rivaldo doesn't but gets a paltry fine that amounts to a few hours pay. What does that say about the Fifa decision makers? Rivaldo should have been banned for at least one game but if I'd been making the decision I'd have banned him from the tournament.
Neil, UK

The guy should be suspended - period. Truly great players just don't do it.
Martin Woollatt, England

Can't believe that's all they gave him with video evidence like that! The guy deserved a second yellow, but he got a straight red, which adds yet more to his disciplinary record/potential bans. Which he only got from that appalling effort by Rivaldo!
Tim, UK

" The football authorities have lost the chance to stamp out the cheaters that spoil the game "
Terry McCann, Oman

Rivaldo has been punished unfairly. At the end of the day it has now become the norm to pull shirts and fake fouls, so I fail to see the distinction. Unsal should have been booked anyway, regardless of Rivaldo's antics. I agree that what Rivaldo did was wrong but if you are going to punish a player for play acting or dishonest behaviour then it has to apply to all players and to all forms of cheating.

Maybe if a tugged shirt/faked foul etc resulted in an instant red card/fine then the game would get progressively cleaner and a lot more honourable.
Darren, UK

Once again the governing body have been made to look incompetent. Add this to the ticketing problems, Sepp Blatter's financial management and you begin to wonder!
Andrew Ross, Hong Kong

Fifa's "punishment" of Rivaldo is laughable and demonstrates how ineffective they have become. No wonder he does not regret his actions. They should show they are serious about eliminating this element from the game by imposing a significant ban. All too often this type of behaviour detracts from the beautiful game and those who adopt it should be properly punished as the cheats they are.
Ian Clay, Oman

What a cheat. At the very least he should have received a ban. I thought Fifa were trying to clean up the image of the game?
Kevin, England

" If they want to stop this cheating the only way is suspension "
Anthony Wells, UK

Why call it "simulation" when we all know the real word for it - cheating. In football it would seem cheats do prosper - what's £5000 to a World Class player, probably less than 10% of a weeks pay
Mark Carter, England

We do not want this sort of stupidity for our money. We want sportsmanship and fair play. There is no room for the likes of Rivaldo and Unsal. Nor for that matter Scolari. If he condones what Rivaldo did then he is just as guilty and should also be fined or suspended from the dug out. The message is clear - get rid of these idiots, it's ruining football!
Raz, United Kingdom

His behaviour was totally unprofessional and a disgrace to a fantastic footballing nation.
Dougie Anderson, England

The fine is peanuts relative to his weekly pay and his wealth. If they want to stop this cheating the only way is suspension.
Anthony Wells, UK

I think Fifa's decision not to suspend Rivaldo is a shocking one. Surely this type of blatant cheating shouldn't be tolerated. Are they going against their pre-tournament plans to clamp down on play-acting and players deliberately attempting to get opponents booked or sent off?

" At least Fifa has sent a message to all the teams "
John, Scotland

Rivaldo's comments suggesting that he felt he was dealt with more harshly than other players might have been were just unbelievable. A £5,000 fine is probably only a small percentage of the win bonus he no doubt received from the game, so he's got off incredibly lightly.

Fifa should make an example of Rivaldo and show the world that no matter how high-profile the player is they can't be allowed to get away with criminal behaviour like that.
Ed Randell, England

Are Fifa now saying that kids should follow Rivaldo`s example and cheat to get players sent off!
Eddie Crace, England

7000 Euros, that's ridiculous. Rivaldo earns millions, so how could this fine hurt him? He should at least have been suspended for one match. And Roberto Carlos too, as he said he would do the same. By fining players a few thousand Euros Fifa won't stop play-acting and cheating.
Florian, Germany

This kind of money is peanuts to Rivaldo, but at least Fifa has sent a message to all the teams. A timely message, as far as England are concerned, because the Argentinians are the masters of "simulation".
John, Scotland

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