Saturday 16 December 2017

GAA set to bring back 'yellow peril' in bid to snuff out cynicism

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

MAJOR changes are on the way for Gaelic football, but they will stop short of tackling the overuse of the handpass.

The Football Review Committee (FRC), established by GAA president Liam O'Neill(above) in the weeks after he came into office last April, look sure to generate plenty of debate on Monday when they submit the first part of their findings for public scrutiny.

And in one of their most radical suggestions, they are expected to propose a return to the 2009 experiment in which teams had to substitute players who have been yellow carded.

After extensive research and consultation with members of the public, managers, players, referees and administrators over the last six months, the overwhelming sense was that cynicism in Gaelic football needed to be dealt with.

The number of substitutions allowed in a match went from five to six to cater for the experiment and six would be the maximum allowed again under this proposal.

Research shows that the average number of yellows in a game is six.

Those experimental disciplinary rules, which were established by a task force under the chairmanship of O'Neill, failed to get the required two-thirds majority at Congress.

The enforced substitution of yellow-carded players drew strong criticism from managers during the 2009 experiment, but the logic was that the player and not the team carried the responsibility for committing the specified fouls.

It had been expected that a proposal to restrict the handpass would be made but this will not be proposed, the Irish Independent understands.

Other proposals to cut out cynicism will centre on cumulative yellow cards yielding suspensions.

The introduction of a countdown clock may also be back on the agenda, despite being rejected two and a half years ago because of cost.

A limit on the time it takes to take a free may also be considered with some interesting statistics on the time lost for frees and kick-outs expected to be published.

Irish Independent

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