Torres, whose athletic performance has been well below par during the first round of World Cup play, did at least successfully pull off this fine display of theatrics. The result was a red card for the Chilean player. FIFA often reviews video footage of games to determine whether to sanction players for unsportsmanlike conduct — usually limited to aggression or disrespect for the referee — but this practice should be expanded to castigate unsportsmanlike theatrics and other tactics that undermine the game.
When Thierry Henry’s undetected handball helped France qualify for the World Cup, the French public — in large numbers — actually protested the injustice (one of the first drops in the bucket leading to the popular disrespect for their national squad). It would be nice to see the Spanish press ostracize Fernando Torres for his shameful display. The Spanish should leave the cheap tricks to the Italians and Argentines.