Thursday 22 March 2018

Walsh urges officials to clamp down on 'cynical' off-ball fouling

Sligo manager Kevin Walsh. Photo: Sportsfile
Sligo manager Kevin Walsh. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Sligo manager Kevin Walsh has called on GAA authorities to do more to ensure that cynical play does not ruin Gaelic football.

Walsh expressed his concerns in the wake of his team's qualifier defeat to Kildare.

The Galway native's term is up after four years with Sligo, but he has given no indication of his future intentions. However, he was vocal about the off-the-ball fouling that he feels is harming the game.

Asked about the red card late on for Charlie Harrison, Walsh replied that he had "rakes of views on red cards" and incidents he claims that aren't being dealt with by officials.

"I have a lot of views on certain stuff that linesmen see right in front of their eyes and don't deal with," he said.

"If you're being pulled and dragged all over the place, and you happen to lash out and the lash-out goes the wrong place, all of a sudden it's a red card.

"Fair play, RTE will play it back and they'll say 'yes the ref was right and the linesman was right'. But maybe it's time that they stood up and were counted.

"There's stuff going on in front of them.

"It's not the first game... and it's nothing got to do with the result, by the way.


"But there is certain stuff creeping into the game that has got to be dealt with by the eyes of the authorities that are out there, and it's not being fully dealt with.

"Cynical blocks, cynical pull-backs, complete pulling and tugging, in front of the linesman's eyes.

Maybe someone might throw an arm back to release themselves.

"I don't know exactly what happened there (with Harrison's red card), but it's been going on for a long time.

"And then the hand may hit the wrong part, and it's a pity that with all the technology, they can't just deal with it and face up to it and stop the play, and whatever."

Walsh reiterated that he hadn't brought the subject up and wasn't specifically referring to the game just ended, but that cynicism "absolutely needs to be wiped out."

"It's going on left, right and centre. Pulling and dragging -- and let's be fair about it, even in the full-forward line -- away from the ball, if the ball is on the other side of the field and someone pulls a jersey, it's in the law, pulling a jersey is a yellow card offence," he added.

"It's being let go left, right and centre by umpires, and unless this thing is stamped out, you're not going to see good forward play."

Irish Independent

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