Sunday 25 February 2018

Ref comment issue settled 'amicably'

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

AN investigation into claims that Meath referee Cormac Reilly made inappropriate remarks to a player during the Monaghan v Tyrone Ulster quarter-final last Sunday week has been "dealt with amicably."

Monaghan wing-back Darren Hughes said after the game that he was unhappy with comments made by the referee. "I'll not repeat what he said to me in the first half but the referee shouldn't be saying that," he said.

Michael Curley, chairman of the National Referees' Committee, said his organisation had spoken to Monaghan about the comments and the matter was now closed.

"It has been dealt with amicably between ourselves and Monaghan and is now finished," he said.

Monaghan were unhappy with the referee's performance after having two players sent off and a further four booked. They were particularly upset by the dismissal of captain and midfielder Dick Clerkin on two yellow cards in the first half as it left them with a serious handicap which proved too great to overcome.

Curley said that his committee has no problems with criticisms of referees, provided they were not personal.

"Every referee knows that criticism comes with the job. Anyone can disagree with a referee and is perfectly entitled to do so but there's a line between what's acceptable and what's not. If someone is querying a decision, that's fine but if it gets personal, it's out of order," he said.

Regarding the recent controversies over 'square ball' calls, Curley said the general view among referees was that they would have preferred if the experimental rule which applied in last year's league had been retained.

It allowed players to be in the square before the ball arrived (except in dead-ball situations) and while it was seen to work well, there was little support at Congress for making it permanent.

"Referees were happy because it was easy to implement. The rule as it stands can be difficult to get right. Overall though, they get more square ball calls right than wrong," he said.

He also believes that it has been a good year so far for officials. "We're pleased, in particular, with the effect umpire training has had. There will always be one or two controversies but that doesn't mean the umpires are wrong. Overall, we're happy with the way things are going," he said.

Irish Independent

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