Saturday 25 November 2017

Referees must be given discretion

Kerry midfielder Anthony Maher left the pitch in Inniskeen last Sunday with a rueful shake of his head, having been sent off near the end of the clash with Monaghan on a second yellow card.

It was a fairly innocuous foul, but Meath referee Cormac Reilly obviously felt that it was in yellow card territory.

As the rules are drafted, perhaps it was, but then the rules are wrong if players end up in the dug-out for challenges, which, at worst, are no more than clumsy.

Maher, who had played well, wouldn't exactly be noted for testing the patience of referees, yet last Sunday he was depicted as a bad boy on a red card.

There's a world of difference between cynical fouling which definitely merits a yellow card and a borderline challenge where the perpetrator gets his timing slightly wrong -- but referees are not differentiating.

Surely, referees should be allowed a fair degree of discretion, but it appears they are not. Hence the plethora of yellow cards, which, of course, can quickly turn to red.

But then with assessors in the stand, furiously ticking boxes, referees find themselves in a difficult situation. So, too, do players, except in their case, there's a lot of frustration too.

Irish Independent

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