Saturday 23 September 2017

Black card sanction 'should be replaced by 13-metre free'

Referee Anthony Nolann shows the black card. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Referee Anthony Nolann shows the black card. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The controversial black card should be scrapped in favour of a sanction which would result in a score for the opposition, according to newly-appointed Ulster Council CEO Brian McAvoy.

He proposes that instead of sending off a player and allowing him to be replaced, a 13-metre free in front of goal be awarded to the opposition for a deliberately cynical foul anywhere on the pitch, except in the square where the punishment would be a penalty.

"That's more appropriate following a 'cynical' foul as it would almost certainly result in the concession of a score," writes McAvoy in his first annual report.

Reflecting the growing unease over the application of the black card rule, he concedes that "there is widespread consensus that it is not working as originally intended."

"I don't think anyone disputes the fact that there needs to be a form of sanction for what is deemed as 'cynical', he states.

"I believe, however, that the rule as currently drafted creates confusion by the use of the world 'deliberately' in relation to the three black card offences and this is making life difficult for match officials.

"The rule equates 'cynical' fouling and 'deliberate' fouling as if they are one and the same, but they are not. All cynical fouls are deliberate but all deliberate fouls are not cynical. I believe there needs to be change of wording in the rule."

He suggests that sending a player off and allowing him to be replaced is not an appropriate sanction as, in many cases, it's has no impact on the offending team.

Irish Independent

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