Roy Hodgson says England forward Jamie Vardy did not dive at the weekend in Leicester’s 2-2 draw with West Ham.
Vardy was shown a second yellow card after tumbling in the penalty area after a tussle with Angelo Ogbonna, with referee John Moss judging he had gone down to easily.
That prompted a furious reaction from the England striker that has left him with an FA improper conduct charge and sparked fervent discussion with Sky pundit Thierry Henry claiming Vardy had dived, but in a “clever way”.
England boss Hodgson however has sympathy for Vardy and believes he did not try to deceive the referee.
“You take everything that the player brings with him. You take Wayne Rooney – he, in my recollection, was pretty hot-headed, often getting himself into scrapes on the field, but you take what the player brings,” said Hodgson.
“Vardy got sent off at the weekend, but once again I will go out on a limb: I don’t see that. I don’t see that as a dive. I just don’t. I think he was unbalanced. I don’t think it was a penalty either, I think he was unbalanced, running at that speed.
“I think there was a very slight sort of contact with the defender, who was trying to cover. I think he went down, he lost his balance. I don’t think he was trying to dive.
“But of course all the pundits I hear they say, ‘He dived, look how he dived’. I don’t see it. I really don’t, I’m sorry. I wouldn’t blame him for that. I sympathise with him, I think he was very, very unlucky.
“When you get sent off for something where he obviously feels like I feel – there is no doubt he is of that opinion.
“But now he has had to swallow the fact that he has been made to leave the field and then, unfortunately, he has reacted like sometimes human beings react.
“He hasn’t just said to the ref, ‘Thanks very much, I understand’. He has called him a few names, but he is a human being and that can happen.
“But I think our disciplinary record over the last few years has been pretty good. I think it will remain good, but I can’t guarantee you that a Vardy, a Rooney, or a Dele Alli, or anyone else for that matter, is not going to do that.”