Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 17 December 2017

'Ridiculous' red card fuels Harte's concern about ref

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Mickey Harte has admitted he had "concerns" when he heard David Coldrick had been appointed to referee Saturday's qualifier against Kerry.

Harte branded the red card that Coldrick showed to Brian McGuigan -- on the field some 30 seconds before he barged into Declan O'Sullivan's back in an off-the-ball incident -- as "ridiculous."

"I have to say I was (concerned). I'm not taking this position now because were beaten, that we're blaming the referee. He didn't beat us.

"But again, what influence do people like this have on these games? That's the third game that he did (he also took charge of the Division 2 league final against Kildare and the Ulster semi-final against Donegal -- both games that Tyrone lost) and I said myself that I don't feel he benefits our team. Take what you want out of that."


Harte expressed his disappointment with the high number of yellow cards (16) that Coldrick produced in an edgy, fractious game.

"I thought that we had left that behind us when Pat McEnaney came in to look after referees, in that he was sending the message out that you don't need a plethora of yellow cards.

"But it didn't seem to get the message through to this man today. Every other game I have seen in the championship to date, I have seen the card-count go way down. I thought it made for better games. That didn't happen today."

Coldrick, though, is considered one of the more reluctant referees to show cards.

And just as he did in the Donegal game, he gave more frees to Tyrone than he did to their opponents.

But he incurred Harte's wrath for sending off McGuigan, a player who may now bring his career to an end, having come out of retirement earlier this summer.

"I'm disgusted with the red card. There was no merit in that at all for any referee," Harte said.

"It was harsh. I don't believe running into somebody with your shoulder is a sending-off offence. I haven't seen much of it in my time in football.

"I don't think with the kind of tackling that was going on there today that it was a red-card offence.

"Yes it was a foul, it was petulant and it happened -- but to give a red card for it, I thought it was quite ridiculous.

"Without a doubt it made a difference. Kerry are hard enough to play with 15 men. When you are playing them with 14 men -- and you are struggling anyway to come to terms with the power and pace of them -- it became a damage limitation job for us, and I don't think we made a good fist of that."

Harte commented on the level of respect he and his team had received since landing in Kerry earlier in the day.

"The (Kerry) people are most respectful of Tyrone and Tyrone football, and that's all I got from when I came down here today -- total respect from all the people who I met."

Irish Independent

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