It’s the bugbear of every football fan.
A player hits the turf after a collision with an opponent, rolling around in apparent agony before the referee brings the game to a halt.
The stricken “victim” is eventually led from the field, either limping alongside his team’s physio or lying prostrate on a stretcher.
When the player leaves the pitch and the action eventually resumes, something miraculous happens.
Displaying Lazarus-like powers of recovery, the reenergized soccer star rises to his feet and sprints eagerly back into the fray.
Week after week, game after game, supporters across the globe watch these displays of amateur dramatics from players eager to waste valuable seconds or gain an advantage - such as a penalty or a free-kick - as their team bids for victory.
Cricket has “sledging,” the now traditional trading of insults between players. Basketball has “flopping,” when a player falls intentionally under minimal or no contact.
But when it comes the dark arts of gamesmanship in sport, football has no equal.
Diving once again dominated English back pages over the festive period, with Chelsea midfielder Oscar yellow-carded and roundly lambasted for going to ground in a match against Southampton when it looked easier to score.
Manchester United’s prodigious winger Adnan Januzaj is also developing a reputation, not only as a fine young attacker but also as someone with a penchant for what football authorities call “simulation.”
If it is an issue riling football fans, it is also something the game’s most senior official is keen to tackle.
Sepp Blatter, president of soccer’s global governing body FIFA, said: “I find it deeply irritating, especially when the (supposedly) half-dead player comes back to life as soon as they have left the pitch.”
He used his column in FIFA Weekly magazine to suggest referees could prevent play-acting players from returning to the field until their team has incurred a disadvantage.
From the man who suggested women should play in sexier kits and that racism could be settled with a handshake, it is a refreshingly constructive idea.
Imagine if Januzaj, a player who has been booked three times for simulation in just 14 Premier League appearances, was forced to watch from the sidelines as United conceded a last-minute goal in a crucial Champions League tie?
Would David Moyes been so keen to defend his talented winger if his play-acting and time-wasting cost the club the millions of pounds which come with progression in Europe’s top competition?
While Blatter’s proposal wouldn’t solve the problem of diving, it would be a step in the right direction in football’s interminable battle against simulation.
The idea of a referee intentionally disadvantaging a team initially sounds outrageous, and it is often difficult to determine the difference between simulation and genuine anguish.
But it would only take one instance of a team conceding a goal while their player is off the pitch to make every manager actively discourage their charges from feigning injury.
Until one brave official makes such a call, football will remain top of the flops.