Update: this petition has been sent to the FA, and you can read their reply in an update below. Next step is to send to FIFA to support FA's request to include diving in the scope for 'retrospective action'. I am aiming for 1,000 signatures, so your support is much appreciated.
Diving is cheating pure and simple. It sets the worst possible example to the next generation, who are copying their professional heroes.
It has been growing in recent years and has now reached the point where it is spoiling the 'beautiful game' and making the job of referee much more difficult than it should be. The integrity of the game is at stake, and the FA is in a position to set an example to the rest of the world. However, their reply to the petition suggests they will not act without wider FIFA approval being reached first.
I think the balance is wrong at present, as in the player's mind the 'prize' or reward for a dive outweighs the risk of being caught and the likely punishment. If this balance is changed, the players will stop diving.
There are several ways in which this balance could be changed:
1) Post match use of video technology is one option, with clear cases of diving punished by 'retrospective action' as bringing the game into disrepute. This works well for MLS in the US, where a disciplinary committee meets weekly. This is my own favoured option.
2) Diving could become a red card offence when the referee spots it. A 3 game ban would be severe punishment, and the threat of this would act as a deterrent.
3) Use of immediate video replays during games, as in all other major sports, and sin-binning of players should be considered as another option. A ten minute sin bin would not only be immediate punishment, but could add to the overall excitement of the game, and lead to more goals being scored.
Firm action along these lines will quickly have an effect. I feel sure this petition will have the support of millions of genuine football lovers across the world.
Thanks again for your support, James Barker (@desmond58)