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The Duffy digest

DIRECTOR-GENERAL Páraic Duffy released his annual report yesterday. Here are some of his key observations ...

He predicts the end of Friday evening championship matches, citing last year's Carlow/Laois SFC qualifier as "an experiment that is unlikely to be repeated. Players have a valid point when they say that a full working day does not facilitate the mental and physical preparation necessary for a championship game."

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He favours new measures to tackle team officials who question the integrity of referees. Arguing that the current eight-week suspension (for conduct discrediting the association) is deemed too severe, hence a reluctance to lay charges against over-critical managers, Duffy suggests: "A more appropriate sanction in the match regulations would be the withdrawal of sideline privileges for a number of games. I believe that this would be an effective deterrent."

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He attacks the increasing prevalence of 'dummy team' announcements, which he deems "an embarrassment", and suggests a possible remedy. If the GAA finds it impractical to punish offending teams, "then we should insist that counties release a panel-list of 26 players five days before a game, and that the addition of another player on match day be prohibited. If a player sustains an injury or illness after the panel of 26 has been submitted, that has to be their misfortune," he writes.

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 He is adamant that the black card is here to stay. While predicting "the inevitable clamour for an about-turn" when players receive black cards in the early weeks of the NFL, he stresses: "Let one thing be clear: there can be no turning back".


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