Ruud Gullit blamed referees for footballers diving during an appearance on Match of the Day
Gullit was speaking as a pundit on Match of the Day went he blamed officials for players going down too easily.
The Holland legend was analysing Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Manchester City and defended Raheem Sterling in particular.
Sterling was through on goal but a push from Kyle Walker sent him off balance and his effort was easily saved.
And Gullit, who played for AC Milan and Sampdoria twice, revealed he was taught to go down during his time in Serie A.
Ruud Gullit and Alan Shearer were analysing Kyle Walker's push on Raheem Sterling
Gary Lineker tries to interject after Ruud Gullit's comments
"Look, in Italy I learnt that you have to go down," Gullit said. "If you feel it and the reason why they do it – in England they say it's cheating – but this is the reason why players are diving because when you are honest you don't get what you deserve.
"He should get what he deserves there [a penalty] but that's the point and that's why players dive.
"I just want to say to people all the time moaning about football players diving – this is the reason.
"It's not the footballers' fault it's the linesmen and the referees' fault, because if they give this, the players would stay on their feet."
Every Premier League club's favourite referee
Fri, October 28, 2016
Click through the gallery to see every Premier League club's lucky referee
1 of 21
Click through the gallery to see every Premier League club's lucky referee based on win ratios
Former England strikers Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker moved to play down Gullit's claims, but the 54-year-old stuck to his guns.
"I don't want to encourage cheating, I don't want to encourage diving," Shearer said, to which Gullit exclaimed: "This is not cheating!"
Shearer added: "I'm agreeing with you, but what I want to see is referees keeping up with the game and the decisions being correct. That should have been a red card and should have been a penalty.
Lineker tried to draw a line under the conversation by stating: "We can't start blaming referees for players diving if they don't get fouled."
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Kyle Walker puts his arm on Raheem Sterling in the penalty box
Unbelievable that Ruud Gullit has just blamed referees for players diving…incredible statement on @BBCMOTD
— Howard Webb (@HowardMWebb) January 21, 2017
Before Gullit finished with: "He [Pep Guardiola, Sterling's manager at Manchester City] is gonna get mad because he's gonna say if you had gone down it would have been a penalty."
And former Premier League referee Howard Webb was angered by the exchange, taking to Twitter to share his displeasure with the comments.
"Unbelievable that Ruud Gullit has just blamed referees for players diving…incredible statement on @BBCMOTD," Webb tweeted.
WHO DO YOU SIDE WITH? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…