Monday 20 November 2017

Refs' chief McEnaney lays down law ahead of crunch weekend

Pat McEnaney
Pat McEnaney
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Attempts by team officials to influence referees in this weekend's four All-Ireland SFC games will have no impact whatsoever. That's according to Pat McEnaney, chair of the National Referees' Committee, who is telling managers to concentrate on their own duties.

"Let them look after their teams and I'll look after mine," said McEnaney at the end of a week where there was an outbreak of special pleading from counties.

Cork manager Brian Cuthbert described Mayo as "streetwise," while selector Ronan McCarthy went further, alleging the Connacht side are "good at tactical fouling".

Kildare manager Jason Ryan described Monaghan's top forward, Conor McManus as "probably the number one free winner in the country," adding that referee David Coldrick would be "keeping a very close eye on all the tackles".

The remarks drew a rebuke from Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke who described them as "a wee bit of gamesmanship".

"We all know what an honest player Conor is. We would be under the impression he doesn't get all the frees he merits," said O'Rourke.

Armagh manager Paul Grimley expressed reservations about how the black card and advantage rules were being applied and added that he hoped their clash with Meath would not be "besmirched by any poor decision-making".

That leaves the Galway v Kerry quarter-final as the only game where the camps made no comment to refereeing. McEnaney (left) dismissed the comments, insisting managers were wasting their time if they thought it would influence referees.

"This has been going on for the last 20 years and will probably be going on for the next 20 years.

" The referees will do what they always do – referee the games as they happen. Nothing else matters to them. If any of the managers want a job next year, they have can have mine," said McEnaney, whose term ends this year.

This evening's Armagh v Meath (5.0) and Kildare v Monaghan (7.0) ties will provide All-Ireland quarter-final opponents for Dublin and Donegal respectively. By 5.30 tomorrow, the first two semi-finalists will be known, following the Galway v Kerry (2.0) and Cork v Mayo (4.0) quarter-finals.

Irish Independent

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