Friday 22 September 2017

Junior B footballer suspended for 48 weeks for kicking a ball at a referee he missed by 20 feet

Simonstown's Ronan McGrath (right) clears the danger after blocking Robert Cox (10) of Blackhall Gaels during a Meath SFC final in Navan. Picture: Fran Caffrey
Simonstown's Ronan McGrath (right) clears the danger after blocking Robert Cox (10) of Blackhall Gaels during a Meath SFC final in Navan. Picture: Fran Caffrey

Jack O'Toole

Former Blackhall Gaels forward Robert Cox revealed that he once received a 48-week ban by Meath GAA after attempting to hit a referee with a football despite missing the official by about 20 feet.

In light of Diarmuid Connolly's proposed 12-week ban by the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee on Tuesday, Cox called into Newstalk's Off The Ball  to claim that he once received a 48-week ban for attempting to kick a football at a referee from 30 metres away.

"I was frustrated with a decision and I turned around and kicked the ball with the outside of the left foot, curling away from the referee, and I missed him by about 20 feet," said Cox.

"He called me over for a chat, and I actually can't remember the referee's name, which is probably a good thing, but I just explained to him that he was a little bit overweight at the time and that he probably shouldn't be reffing... there was more to it than just kicking the ball.

"There was blatant intent. I was confident with my own ability but I just miscued that one unfortunately. The little bit of abuse at the end probably put the final nail in the coffin."

Cox said that his club actually tried to extend the ban because he had brought the club into disrepute, but that he actually made up with the referee a few years later, in which the referee, who had trimmed down by that stage, had apologised for including in his report that Cox had called him overweight.

Cox would return for his club a few years after he had served the ban and laughed off the suggestion that he returned only a couple of weeks later under a different name.

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