West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini has been charged for diving to win a penalty against Stoke on Saturday, the Football Association has announced.
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.
The decision infuriated Stoke manager Mark Hughes, who is now under even more pressure following the 3-0 home defeat.
Lanzini has until 6pm 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.
New 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 comprised of 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accepted or upheld by an independent commission, the guilty player receives a two-match ban and any cards involved are rescinded.
In Monday’s Daily Mail, 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.
“I’m sorry if that doesn’t make sense but that’s how hard it is to referee players such as Manuel Lanzini,” Poll added.
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 was clearly a dive and the ref’s seen something that no-one else saw. All in all, it was a poor sequence of events for him and for us.
“It sounds like sour grapes when you talk about people getting punished retrospectively. It doesn’t help us now.”