Owen admits World Cup ‘dives’

Michael Owen has admitted exaggerating his fall to win two penalties against Argentina at previous World Cups.

Owen says he dived both in the second round clash with Argentina in 1998 and in the group stage encounter in 2002 to win penalties, but insists that he would never have gone to ground without any contact.

“I’d say that 75% of people could stay on their feet for a penalty, and if they get touched and go down it is almost, ‘Hey I got touched so it’s OK to go down,'” said Owen at the Leaders in Football conference. “I have been guilty as well, I played at the 1998 World Cup against Argentina and I was running flat out, got a nudge, went down. Could I have stayed up? Yes, probably.

“Then four years later you [Collina] gave me a penalty again against Argentina,” he continued. “Again, I could have stayed on my feet, the defender’s caught me and I did have a decent gash down my shin from it – but I could have stayed up.”


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