Monday 18 December 2017

We must not sweep football's cynicism under the carpet – Scullion

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

FOOTBALL Review Committee member Tony Scullion insists hurling counties have nothing to fear from voting in favour of the introduction of the black card to football at this weekend's Congress in Derry.

Tipperary, Cork and Limerick have all come out against the proposals, while Clare are expected to do likewise, meaning the FRC could find it difficult to gather two-thirds of the approximate 330 votes they require to carry their motions.

However, four-time Derry All Star footballer Scullion, who also hurled for the Oak Leaf County, maintains that voting in favour of the black-card motion won't open the door for changes to hurling.

"There's no call for a black card in hurling because cynical play doesn't happen in hurling. They have nothing to fear there," insisted Scullion (pictured).

"The feeling on the ground is that hurling counties fear that this is coming to them at some stage.

"It won't be near hurling. It's a different game."

The FRC carried out the most in-depth canvassing of opinions ever undertaken by a GAA body. However, Scullion believes some of the grass-roots voices aren't being heard.

"I would be slightly worried that the common man on the ground is not getting a say. It will be all the worse for Gaelic football if this motion – the black card – is not passed," he warned.

Members of the FRC will make a presentation to delegates at Congress before the final vote is taken.

The FRC have proposed motions numbered 4-25 of the overall 73 down for decision, and Scullion maintains that these changes can only improve Gaelic football.

"We surveyed the GAA people on the ground and they have been saying that we have to look at the cynical play in our game," added Scullion.

"We can sweep it under the carpet and forget about it and say 'our game is great' – and our game is great, we have one of the best games in the world – but with a few wee tweaks we can make it better.

"You don't have to have a long memory, if you were at matches last weekend you'll see what I'm talking about.

"I'm talking broadly there. I have heard people talk about the Tyrone-Dublin game and the last 10 minutes. But broadly speaking it's happening right through the game.

"We have sat down and analysed 60 games on DVD over the last 10 years and it was the stand-out fact that cynical play is taking place.

"All our proposals will help the game. We have heard that the counties don't like the idea of moving the ball forward 30 yards.

"Just watch videos of games over the last number of years."

Irish Independent

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