How do you now enforce this new change to the game? Is there a little more leniency given to challenges with minimal contact? Starting from the very obvious. If a player is not touched by another player following the challenge and that player goes to ground as if they were fouled, then this is clear simulation and should receive a red card. Any defender who gets a part of the ball before getting the player in possession has not committed a foul. This would only affect situations where the defender has gone in, not won the ball but also not hit the player.
Another situation where simulation occurs is when a defender’s momentum in a challenge has stopped and the player then attempts insight contact. This is where black and white very quickly turns to grey. How do you define when a defender’s momentum has stopped in a challenge? The simple answer is when the defender themselves has stopped moving. But football is a fast game and players move incredibly quickly, how can you expect to see that? Well that’s exactly what VAR is for.
I think of it this way, if an attacking player changes their line to create contact with another player in order to obtain a free kick or penalty then this is simulation. Unless, the player is deemed to be protecting the ball meaning that the ball is under there control. Any amount of contact is going to cause a sense of controversy around this. Questions will be asked. Did he really change his line? Had the defender’s momentum stopped entirely?
Any change in the game breeds controversy and I know that this would too. But we already have controversy from these situations. And most of the time they advantage the attacking team.