"Luis Suarez is a cheat...diving is a cancer!" - FIFA Vice-President

Luis Suarez is ‘cheating’ football and diving is a ‘cancer’ that must be cut out the game, according to a top FIFA boss.

Furious FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said: “I have seen several incidents recently and I saw the latest Suarez incident two or three times.

“To me it is nothing less than a form of cheating.”

Boyce’s scathing comments last night came in the wake of Liverpool star Suarez’s theatrical attempt to win a penalty during Sunday’s goalless draw against Stoke.

Boyce added: “It is becoming a little bit of a cancer within the game. I believe if it is clear to everyone that it is simulation, then that person is trying to cheat and they should be severely punished for that.”

But Suarez last night insisted he does not care what people say.

The Uruguayan, 25, snapped: “Any manager can say what he wants about me but it doesn’t affect me.

“Let them carry on talking. Meanwhile I will continue to play football and to concern myself with my team and with what I do — and nothing more.”

Stoke gaffer Tony Pulis branded Suarez’ second-half dive an ‘embarrassment’ and called for the Reds striker to be banned for three matches.

And Boyce, Britain’s representative on the game’s governing body, agrees with Pulis.

He added: “It can be dealt with retrospectively by disciplinary committees and is done so in some associations. I believe that is the correct thing to do.”

Potters winger Michael Kightly, who played against Suarez on Sunday, also waded in to the debate.

He fumed: “When you get a little touch and Suarez is screaming like he has broken his leg, you do think ‘Is he hurt?’

“But nine times out of 10, he’s not. Refs have to stamp down on it. Sometimes players know a tackle’s coming in and ride it and go down. That’s good play, winning a penalty.

“But when you just dive with no touch at all, that’s not good for the game.”

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers leapt to the defence of his star and said: “There seems to be one set of rules for Luis and another set for everyone else.

“Diving and simulation is one issue we all agree has to be eradicated but there were other incidents this weekend that didn’t seem to generate the same coverage.

“The vilification of Luis is both wrong and unfair.”

The FA does not punish players for diving but a spokesman said: “Simulation is not something the FA currently take retrospective action over but it is an issue that is often reviewed.”