Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 24 February 2018

Keep refs out of video review process - Bannon

Bannon: Motion to Congress
Bannon: Motion to Congress
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

ANOTHER attempt to change the rule so that referees are not asked to undertake a video review of contentious decisions will be made at next month's GAA Congress.

It is again being led by former top referee John Bannon, whose club, Legan Sarsfields, successfully steered the necessary motion through the Longford convention.

This time, Bannon plans to speak to other referees, with those in favour of the proposal then lobbying their county boards to support the call for change at Congress. The motion -- which essentially proposes that referees play no further part in the disciplinary process after they submit their match report -- was defeated at last year's Congress.

Dublin's Eoghan O'Gara and Kerry's Marc O Se are the latest to be hit by bans arising from video reviews of incidents where they were not sent off. Under rule, the Central Competition Control Committee (CCCC) is entitled to ask a referee to review an incident after examining the video.

If he sticks by his original decision, the CCCC cannot reopen it, but if he accepts that he should have taken stricter action, the player(s) involved will face the disciplinary process.

Bannon found himself at the centre of controversy after the 2009 Cork-Tyrone All-Ireland semi-final when, despite being invited to review an incident involving Cork's John Miskella, he stuck by his original decision that a yellow card was sufficient. That enabled Miskella to play in the All-Ireland final.

Bannon believes that once a referee submits his report, all issues should be dealt with by the CCCC or a citing commission.

"If, having seen something on the video that they believe should have been dealt with differently on the day, they should proceed without going back to the referee.

"As things stand, the referee is asked to study the video and decide if he is happy with his original decision. That puts unfair pressure on referees and I have to say that most of those I've spoken to would much prefer if they weren't asked to do that," said Bannon.

He said that it seemed inconsistent that referees were asked to revisit their original decision in situations where a case was likely to be upgraded, but there was no consultation when decisions were overturned.

The Central Hearings Committee last week overturned red cards handed out to JJ Delaney (Kilkenny), Cormac McGuinness (Meath) and Danny O'Callaghan (Crossmaglen Rangers), all of whom were sent off in previous weeks.

Irish Independent

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