Monday 18 December 2017

GAA goal-line technology decision hinges on nationwide cost

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Goal-line technology is still under consideration by the GAA but will only be implemented if it is practical -- and financially viable -- to install it at all major grounds.

President Christy Cooney said that a further presentation on the matter would be made to the GAA shortly, but the key element relates to whether it is feasible to use it nationwide.

"It would have to be deliverable not just in Croke Park but also at county grounds. We would have to look at the cost of that and just how realistic it is to have it installed all over the country," Cooney said.

Goal-line technology soared up the agenda after Meath's controversial winning goal in this year's Leinster final, leading to calls for its installation at all major grounds. However, it is a complicated process -- one which a worldwide game like soccer has avoided -- so there are major doubts about how practical it would be for the GAA to install it.

They have already run into problems with the introduction of a hooter system to signal the end of games and have deferred its introduction indefinitely. It was approved by Congress last April but is now on hold after it emerged it would cost around €250,000 to install it at all county grounds.

Meanwhile, it looks as if the inter-provincial championships, formerly known as the Railway Cups, are dead. Central Council decided not to stage them this year and Cooney said that while their future would come up for discussion again early next year, he doubted if there was much appetite to make another attempt to revive them.

"Based on the discussion we had at Central Council last time, I don't believe there will be a push to have them reinstated. I would have been a strong supporter of the Railway Cup over the years but I think they have seen their day. There's no point running a competition just for the sake of it," he said.

Commenting on the decision to begin the process so that semi-finals can be reintroduced to Division 1 of the hurling and football leagues, Cooney said that it was done in order to boost the competitions, which have tended to fall flat in the latter rounds over the last few years.

It requires a Congress decision to restore semi-finals, which means it can't be introduced until 2012. Cooney said that the general view of Central Council was that the return of semi-finals (involving the top four counties) would greatly enhance the leagues.

"It will involve one extra weekend, which will have to be factored into the equation, but we think it will make for better leagues," he said.

"We want to make the concluding stages more interesting, which will be good for everybody concerned, including the sponsors, Allianz, who have been very supportive of the leagues for a very long time."

Irish Independent

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