Thursday 21 November 2019

Two-game suspension very harsh on Forde

Jason Forde of Tipperary is facing a two-game ban. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Jason Forde of Tipperary is facing a two-game ban. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Croke Park have sent out a clear message by suspending Davy Fitzgerald for eight weeks.

They weren't going to let this one go but it's still a tough punishment for Fitzgerald and will hurt him.

But much harsher, I'd have to say, is the proposed two-game ban handed out to Tipperary's Jason Forde (above). When you consider that some lads have done an awful lot worse in the past and escaped punishment, it really is a bitter pill for the Tipp powerhouse to suffer.

Did he have to get involved with Davy? No. Of course, he had no business going over to Davy, and the only person that should have been involved with Davy was the referee, but it's very hard not to be sucked in when you are playing a big game in front of a big crowd.

I really feel they could have left it at a one-match ban and issued a warning about his future conduct. But having charged Fitzgerald, they couldn't let Forde go. They had to be seen to make an example of both.

Some people are already saying that Davy in the stands could work in Wexford's favour but I don't agree.

Player feed off his energy: when he managed Waterford, I often took a quick glance to the line. What I saw was Davy's passion and fire in the belly. A driven winner. That inspires you on to find the extra percentage points that can make the difference.

Wexford won't have that now on June 10, presuming they play Kilkenny in the Leinster semi-final. I'd love to have seen Davy and Brian Cody locking horns on the touchline. The atmosphere will be electric and this could be the game of the year. Fitzgerald loves being involved in big games and this one is right up his street.

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Fitzy is box-office and it would have been great to have him on the line. I'm sure Wexford will go all out with an appeal on this one; they'll explore all avenues to get him off.

Wexford know that with Fitzy in the stands, it's advantage Kilkenny.

I'd like to know if there's going to be anything happening with the ref. I'd suggest not a lot. He'll continue to get big games and life goes on. But in the Premier League, if a referee has a bad game, he'll be demoted to the lesser divisions.

You have to understand that big calls in big games can have an astronomical effect on what happens after that.

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