Michael Owen: 'Diving is getting worse'

Michael Owen
© PA Photos
Former England striker Michael Owen says that diving has become more of a problem in the Premier League since the influx of foreign players.

Stoke City striker Michael Owen is adamant that diving has become more of an issue since the influx of foreign footballers to the Premier League.

The former England striker admitted that he went down easily in the past in order to gain a penalty for his side.

Despite Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale both being deemed to have dived at the weekend, Owen believes that it's unfair to criticise just one or two people.

"I'd say it's worse now than it was 10 years ago and I would have to say that [it grew] with the foreign influence of players coming from South America, Spain and Italy," said Owen.

"When I was a kid and I used to watch Italian football you would see a lot of simulation and you didn't really see it in England. Now it's something that England players do. It's a worldwide problem. English players are just as guilty as foreign players of doing it.

"It'd be unfair to single just one person out. It is a widespread problem in world football and I'd say in England it's been one of the last places to catch on but now prizes are so high people will push the boundaries, just like in any walk of life. It's something that everyone wants to stamp out."

Owen also admitted that he still wants to play for England.

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