Monday 19 February 2018

Give umpires licence to help overworked refs - O'Sullivan

 

Darran O'Sullivan. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Darran O'Sullivan. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Sam Wheeler

Darran O'Sullivan has called on football umpires to provide greater assistance to referees - or risk being replaced by Hawk-Eye.

The four-time All-Ireland winner is still angry about his black card in Kerry's semi-final replay defeat to Mayo last month, calling it "a joke". He feels that referees often have too much on their plate, with players pushing the boundaries, doing anything they can to win.

The upshot, he argues, is too many wrong decisions, and too many unsavoury incidents that go unpunished. His solution is for the umpires to have more input.

"Surely be to God their job can't be to just wave a flag?" he said. "They are watching the game, they can see the full-forward line 10 or 15 yards away.

"Give them the power to be able to communicate with the referee. Otherwise you might as well use Hawk-Eye for every score. All they are doing is waving a flag, what's the point?"

Alluding to the GPS-throwing and cone-interfering incidents in the last moments of the All-Ireland final, O'Sullivan added: "Fellas are doing what they can get away with. But if you nip it in the bud early . . . if I see someone is acting the maggot and he gets sent off, I'm not going to go and do the same thing. Fellas are getting away with things, so the next fella is pushing things a bit more."

O'Sullivan's other bugbear is poor communication from officials - something he blames for his irate reaction to his black card, which cost him a one-match ban.

"I asked the ref - he wouldn't answer me. The linesman wouldn't answer me either," he said.

"There are a few referees that you can chat away to. They'd say straight out what you've done.

"But if they are pulling you for frees and you don't know what for, it's bound to boil up. The least fellas deserve is to be told what you've done wrong."

Irish Independent

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