Friday 19 January 2018

Rules committee want red card for racial and sectarian abuse offenders

Martin Penrose, Tyrone, gets a red card from referee Cormac Reilly
Martin Penrose, Tyrone, gets a red card from referee Cormac Reilly
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Efforts to make on-field sectarian or racist remarks a red-card offence are back on the GAA's agenda. The Association's standing rules committee will propose that such remarks be governed in the playing rules or Part Two of the Official Guide.

As it stands, sectarian or racist remarks are primarily dealt with under the rule governing 'discrediting the Association' and can carry a two-month suspension. The new black card will also deal with aggressive remarks made to an opponent from January 1 onwards.

But the standing rules committee – containing such figures as Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody and Gaelic Players Association chairman Donal Og Cusack – is to put forward a motion to punish such offences by red card.

Sarsfields, the club of Wexford dual player Lee Chin, who has suffered racist abuse in the past, were disappointed when a similar motion was ruled out of order at Congress in March.

The Football Review Committee proposals were treated separately by Congress but the standing rules committee have the facility to propose playing rule changes every year as they see fit and this is one of three they hope will make the agenda next March.

The rules committee is also proposing to make any deliberate interference with a face-guard a red- card offence. Currently it only merits a yellow. They have also sought to outlaw what has become known as the 'Anthony Nash free'.

The Cork hurling goalkeeper mastered the art of lifting the ball from a 20-metre free with such height and trajectory that connection was not being made until he was almost at the 13-metre line.

With his ability to generate such ferocious power, it was considered dangerous to have defending players at such proximity.

Nash scored goals from 20-metre frees in both the drawn and replayed All-Ireland finals but under the proposed rule change, free-takers will have to ensure that the strike of a ball after the lift takes place at least 20 metres from defending players.

Irish Independent

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