Sunday 25 September 2016

'There isn't any appetite for video referees in GAA now' - Ó Fearghail

Michael Verney

Published 08/09/2016 | 02:30

Ó Fearghail: “Given the nature of Gaelic football it is such a fast game, it’s always natural that there’s going to be tricky calls.” Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Ó Fearghail: “Given the nature of Gaelic football it is such a fast game, it’s always natural that there’s going to be tricky calls.” Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

The introduction of goal-line technology and the possible use of video referees in the GAA is not at the top of Aogán Ó Fearghail's agenda despite many calls for their establishment.

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It has been hotly-debated given Hawk-Eye's successful implementation and it came to light again with no conclusive evidence that Paul Geaney's goal had crossed the line during Kerry's semi-final defeat to Dublin.

That follows Wexford's Mark Fanning being denied a goal from a penalty against Offaly in the All-Ireland SHC Qualifiers after the sliotar hit the back stanchion and bounced back into play.

But GAA president Ó Fearghail doesn't feel the necessity for change or for an extension of Hawk-Eye's duties just yet. "Given the nature of Gaelic football it is such a fast game, it's always natural that there's going to be tricky calls," he said.

"No referee will get every single call right. Anything that slows down the tempo of the game is something that I personally, and I think the GAA generally, would be slow to move towards.

"And I don't think there's an appetite yet for video referees at any other level than what we currently have. We have a standing committee on the playing rules and they would have these conversations constantly.

Disputed

"But there isn't enough of a feeling that that should happen yet in the Association. We haven't had any incidents of goals that have been disputed. There was an absolute clarity this year. For all goals the umpires got it exactly right in signals as such. I didn't see any controversial goal."

The Cavan native also outlined the positive response to the recent football championship proposals while he expects hurling to follow a similar route in the coming years

"I think there will be, but perhaps not yet. I think at the moment the hurling championship is in a strong place. You can see that. I think that they will move on to hurling is my own belief," he said.

"Football is in more immediate need for addressing and if we can make the changes as proposed I think that will be an enormous help. I would think that the hurling championship perhaps down the road will be addressed."

Terence 'Sambo' McNaughton recently spoke of Antrim hurling being in "real danger" and Ó Fearghail agreed that steps must be quickly taken to rectify things.

"We cannot allow a county like Antrim continue to slide and they have been sliding. Everything is being looked at in relation to Antrim hurling and there will be proposals on a range of matters to help a county like Antrim, they have been sliding at all levels."

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