Monday 11 December 2017

GAA chief Duffy says 'No' to introduction of television match officials

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy Photo: Sportsfile
GAA director-general Páraic Duffy Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy is against the introduction of a TV match official to help officials make controversial decisions despite inter-county referees making it clear they would be in favour of such a move.

The possibility of using the technology came into the spotlight after a number of controversial incidents, including the decision to award a penalty to Mayo and Aidan O'Shea in their Qualifier clash with Fermanagh last weekend.

Read More: It didn't start with Aidan O'Shea : 6 other times 'diving' was an issue in Gaelic football

And while late last year referees' chief Sean Walsh stated he could see the move "being a great help" to officials, the Monaghan native isn't in favour such a change.

"I watch an awful lot of sport, I watch rugby and American football," said Duffy, who was speaking at the announcement that the GAA had secured €2.4m in funding from Sport Ireland which will be aimed at the promotion of Gaelic Games among young people.

"They go back to these people to check angles and where does it end? This was a penalty incident. But do you show videos again for other fouls further out the field? Do you do it in terms of sendings-off? Where does it end? I think it would completely and totally distort the game.


"I think that would be an absolutely extreme solution and I wouldn't be in favour of that.

"In this case it's being advocated around a penalty. Do you advocate it around a sending-off? Is it a black card or is it not? Is it a red or a yellow? Is it inside the box or outside the box? If it's a foul? Where does it end?

"I watch American football, I watch rugby, there are constant stoppages. Our games are games that flow, they are not stop-start games. I personally wouldn't be in favour of that."

Duffy also stated that the GAA will likely look to scrap replays after a number of them clogged up the calendar and forced teams into one-week turnarounds.

A motion to do away with replays was narrowly defeated at Congress earlier this year.

"I just feel if we are going to address this whole fixtures issue we'll have to revisit this.

"It is something we'll deal with at the end of summer again, I'm sure. I'm sure the Connacht and Ulster Councils will say thank God for replays because financially they're good.

"Personally, the financial reason is the only reason you can give. In terms of players, equity, rest and the fixtures programme, I think they (replays) are a problem. We came forward to Congress with a very modest proposal. It had majority support, I think it's important to say that, but it didn't have two-thirds ... it has to be looked at again and see if we can reach some sort of consensus on it."

Irish Independent

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