30th Oct 2012 9:34am | By Editor
The great Apache warrior Geronimo’s name translates to “one who yawns”, but in the Australian A-League the same name with a J might as well mean “one who falls” after Argentine striker Jeronimo Neumann became the centre of a diving controversy.
The Adelaide United striker went down when on goal in a match against the Wellington Pheonix at the weekend, leading to defender Ben Sigmund being sent off for stopping a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
Replays showed the Phoenix back must have had an accomplice with a sniper rifle on a grassy knoll, as there appeared to be daylight between him and Jeronimo when he went to the ground.
With his teammate Cassio translating at a press conference, Jeronimo insisted he didn't dive.
"I felt the player take my T-shirt and I went down," he said.
Sigmund appears to give up the chase for the ball when he realises his keeper has a better chance of getting the ball – at this stage, Jeronimo does what seems to be an impression of an American world war 2 paratrooper.
Judge for yourself on the below video, but the Football Federation Australia (FFA) didn’t see any wrongdoing after they turned down Wellington’s appeal against Sigmund’s straight red card.
However, Pheonix coach Ricki Herbert and skipper Andrew Durante will no doubt be sanctioned for speaking their mind.
"It is very disappointing for both Ben and the club... and also wrong that the game is being ruined by players who dive and do not get punished for it," Herbert said on Monday.
Durante was more blunt, labelling Jeronimo a "cheat": “If he’s dived, then he’s a cheat”
Cassio says he couldn’t see anything wrong with his the incident.
"He (Sigmund) touched him - he tripped him on his ankle,” he said.
Cassio must have been to Specsavers.
Images via Youtube