Too many reds don't make a right
The recent contentious red card issued by referee Mike Dean to Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany brings to mind another instance, also involving a Dean, as to whether or not a referee was correct in issuing no less than three red cards to the one player in the same match in a period of just 22 minutes.
This occurred in a Scottish Premier League game in November 1997, between Dundee United and Aberdeen, when referee Stuart Dougal booked Aberdeen striker Dean Windass in the first minute of the match and on 21 minutes gave him a second yellow card – and his first red – for a bad tackle.
Before departing the field of play, Windass told the referee what he thought of him which brought him a second red card from the referee for his comments.
Windass stormed off, but paused on his way to rip out one of the corner flags before flinging it to the ground and this conduct brought him his third red card of the match. He was later suspended for seven weeks.
In the Kompany case, it is being argued by sources involved in the disciplinary process that a referee's involvement in the incident ended with the decision to issue the red card.
Similarly, in the Windass case it was then argued that the referee was incorrect in issuing three red cards to the same player in the one match, on the grounds that a referee cannot send off a player who has already been sent off, albeit that he was fully entitled to make reference to the player's further conduct after he had sent the player off to the disciplinary committee.
FRC card proposal just not workable
As a GAA man, I wish to reflect on John O'Brien's article last week entitled 'Falling foul of the yellow peril'. He suggests Congress will have moved on from five years ago to make a cleaner more attractive game. I wonder. The suggestion that the FRC were clever and tested the water with their yellow card/black card substitution proposal is laughable.
The proposal was, is and will next week still be ridiculous. The FRC backtracked.
Mr O'Brien says the FRC were looking at the ordinary grassroots GAA man. Then the rest of his article quotes inter-county managers, refers to provincial finals and All-Ireland semis and finals, even Champions League finals. No word of the All County Division 3 reserve clash on a muddy field where you're struggling to get 15 players, never mind the back-up in case of the yellow/black and blue cards that you may have to countenance for, a problem exacerbated by other codes taking your weekly suspended players.
At present, referees and players don't know how to tackle and interpretations of a fair challenge or a foul vary from one play to the next.
Therein lies a problem with the 'five clearly-defined fouls'. Proper coaching of the fair tackle for players and referees will solve this.
However, I agree with Pat McEnaney regarding cynical fouling. If you want to cut out cynical fouling, apply this or a variation of this rule: when a team reaches a set number of fouls committed (eg 10), a foul shot is awarded to the opposition 40 yards out from goal for every foul thereafter (similar to the free-throw in basketball). On reaching 15 fouls the free shot is worth two points. Otherwise, leave it alone.
Mr O'Brien leans towards the FRC who are basically advocating taking the physicality out of Gaelic football, thus making it 'cleaner and more attractive'.
Rory still not past taking Nike dollar
It is only January and yet the biggest rib-tickling guffaw of the year has already happened with Rory Mcllroy's cosy spiel of "I don't play golf for the money. I think I'm well past that".
But of course the young scamp did not decline the €150 million ten-year Nike sponsorship deal which will keep him in super expensive luxury vehicles, vast palatial residences and finances well beyond the dreams of mere mortals.
When you think of it in just a sporting context, the golf buggy loads of spondulicks Rory will receive amounts to sheer folly when it comes to the (can't sleep at night) excitement and thrill of donning a pair of plus fours, picking up a golf club, whacking a few dimpled balls around, while prancing about on the local municipal green.
I just wonder whether he might require the services of an apprentice caddy for the next decade.