Referee David Gough has said he could not award Peter Crowley a free after he was flattened by Kevin McManamon late in last year's Kerry-Dublin semi-final because he was unsighted by another player.
"I didn't know whether it was a proper charge of not, but I couldn't call it because I didn't see it," he said.
Having watched re-runs of the incident, Gough accepts that Crowley deserved a free which, if scored, would have levelled the game in the 73rd minute. Instead, Dublin broke clear and scored a point. Credit to the Meath man for his honesty but why didn't he check with the linesman closest to an incident which may have changed the course of the All-Ireland championship?
The rules allow referees to "consult with the umpires and/or linesmen concerning infringements of the playing rules".
So if he was unclear as to whether Crowley was fouled, why not ask a linesman for a judgement call? Experienced referees Joe McQuillan (Cavan) and Paddy Neilan (Roscommon) were linesmen that day.
Since Gough (left) conceded that he couldn't see the clash and he didn't seek the help of a linesman, there was, in effect, nobody in control of the game for that split second. That's despite seven officials being on duty.
It highlights yet again the need for more consultation between referees and their officials. The rules allow it so why is it not happening more often?