KENNY SHIELS has called on the FAI to take a hard stance against players who dive and has called on referees to enforce the appropriate punishments.
The Derry City boss accused match official, Mr Robert Hennessy of being 'petty' and 'off the pace' during his side's 2-1 opening day defeat to Premier Division newcomers, Waterford FC at a rain-soaked RSC on Friday night.
And Shiels was highly critical of certain Waterford players for their theatrical performances during the match, calling on referees to clamp down on offenders.
The Blues' marquee signing, Ismahil Akinade went down inside the penalty after minimal contact from Derry City defender, Armin Aganovic on 51 minutes and Mr Hennessy correctly waved 'play on' while the player went unpunished. However, the former Bohemians striker was later booked for simulation in another incident when going to ground just inside the Derry half.
Shiels, whose side finished top of the 'Fair Play' table last season, was frustrated with some of the play-acting on the night and wants more done to deter simulation.
"It was difficult for the referee because they have a full house and it was their first match in the Premier League in 10 years so I'm sure he was influenced (by that)," said the Derry boss afterwards.
"So I thought he had a really poor game if I'm honest. Booking our players for one challenge and there was a dive from one (Waterford) player in the first half inside the box and there was two in the second half. There were three actions of simulation. If they're going to administer it then they have to do it properly. I thought the referee was off the pace of the game and he was petty. But that's not the reason we were beat by the way but that was disappointing.
"The man of the match, Bastien Hery, committed 19 fouls and was applauded. Good luck to Waterford if that’s the way they want to do it."
Shiels said he was 'hurting' by the defeat and in a back-handed compliment to Alan Reynolds side, he claimed Waterford had 'cherry-picked' some of the best players in the league.
"They're happy tonight and fair play to them it's their first game back and that momentum and the players they have brought in has given them new hope . Not a lot of teams will come here and win, certainly not.
"They've cherry-picked the whole league if you go through their team every player has played for another club in the League of Ireland and their bench is the same.
"But I had hoped (punishment for) simulation was going to be adhered to and I was told they (referees) were going to clamp down on it but obviously that didn't happen tonight which was another disappointment.
"So I'm really hurting and disappointed but having said that it's the first game and I can see good signs from the team."