Tuesday 19 September 2017

Setback for FRC as Cork board vote to reject key proposals

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THE prospects of the Football Review Committee (FRC) having its suggested rule changes accepted by Congress on the weekend after next has taken a heavy hit, following the rejection by Cork of some of the more far-reaching proposals.

Cork will vote against introducing a 'black card' offence, which would result in a player being replaced for certain fouls. They will oppose the 'mark' and bringing the ball forward 30 metres instead of 13 metres when efforts are made to slow down play. They are also against the new definition of the tackle.

However, Cork will support the direct pick-up off the ground, the amendment to the advantage rule to allow the referee five seconds before making a final decision and the introduction of an official clock which would be stopped during breaks in play caused by injury.

The FRC will be especially disappointed by Cork's reaction to the 'black card' proposal, which was designed to penalise deliberately destructive fouls. It is one of the FRC's major initiatives but made little impression on Cork County Board delegates.

"There wasn't much support for it. I think there was a fair degree of surprise that the FRC didn't come up with any proposal on the hand-pass, which many people would see as an area that needs to be addressed in Gaelic football," said Cork county chairman, Bob Ryan.

Concerns were also expressed that changing rules in football which might be applied to hurling later on was not progressive.

Some Cork delegates wanted all the proposals voted on as a package but Ryan (above) ruled that they be considered individually. Otherwise, it's likely that all of them would have been rejected.

There are growing fears that predominantly hurling counties may vote against the measures in order to prevent the introduction of the 'black card' sanctions in particular at another time.

The FRC proposals relate to football only but clearly if the 'black card' proposal is carried, there may be pressure to apply it to hurling at some stage in the future.

Irish Independent

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