West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has defended Dimitri Payet after the influential midfielder was accused of diving by Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal during Sunday’s 1-1 FA Cup draw.
Referee Martin Atkinson turned down West Ham’s penalty claims after Payet went down in the box under a 66th minute challenge from defender Marcos Rojo.
“Payet was, more or less, diving,” Van Gaal told reporters after the quarter-final at Old Trafford.
“Of course, he was maybe touched but not to fall like that,”
Bilic said Payet, who later scored with a brilliant free kick, should have been awarded a penalty.
“Come on. If you have a screen, show me…. There is more than a contact. It is definitely not a dive,” the Croatian said.
“Nobody in the world can say there wasn’t a touch. Then if it was a touch, and it is more than a touch, it is a penalty. When you are sliding in the box from behind, I am not saying it was nasty, but it was mistimed.
“Rojo slides and when you are sliding in the box and the ball is nowhere near you, you are taking a big gamble and a big risk. It is a penalty.”