Sunday 22 October 2017

GAA bank on new software to crack down on repeat offenders

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Plans are in the pipeline to punish players who repeatedly pick up yellow cards.

The introduction of the GAA's competitions management software includes a disciplinary module that will make it easier to record yellow cards issued from game to game.

Referees will be asked to key in the relevant information and the software will allow disciplinary chiefs at central and county level to detect immediately who the repeat offenders are.

Punishing an accumulation of yellow cards is something which has been touched on by GAA director general Paraic Duffy in the past but has never been framed as a motion because of logistical problems.

But the introduction of the software in 30 of the 32 counties (because of the volume of games, Dublin and Cork will not be trialled until next year) has the capacity to stamp out the tendency of teams to systematically foul to protect leads without any punishment accruing.

It is potentially a big development for the GAA in the attempt to root out cynicism in the game.

"There is a desire there to do something about repeat yellow cards and I'd say it is something we will see in the forseeable future," said the GAA's director of games and player welfare, Fergal McGill.

The GAA would like such a system operational at club and county levels but, like the current match bans, it could be trialled at inter-county level first.

An analysis of yellow cards picked up by players over the course of this championship shows that of the eight football teams remaining, a number of players have already picked up four.

Two are from Laois, who have accumulated 29 yellow cards in their five games to date. John O'Loughlin and Kevin Meaney were both yellow-carded against Monaghan, Longford and Carlow, with O'Loughlin picking up an extra yellow against Leitrim and Meaney registering one against Meath.

Kerry's Paul Galvin is also on four yellows so far in the championship after his double booking on Saturday night against Clare, while Kildare's Rob Kelly has been cautioned against Offaly, Cavan, Sligo and Meath.

None of these players will miss a match as a consequence of this accumulation of cards.

Irish Independent

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