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From the stands: Snoods to get cold shoulder from FIFA

FIFA's law-making body, the International Football Association Board, will hold an interesting meeting in Wales on March 5 when among the items on the agenda will be goal-line technology and snoods.

Tests will get under way tomorrow on 10 separate goal-line technology systems and the meeting next month may agree to take the next step towards conducting a trial in selected competitions.

The snood, meanwhile, is causing something of a health and safety stir. It turns out that the offensive garment, already banned by Alex Ferguson and prompting Roy Keane to declare that footballers have "all gone soft", is not just ridiculous looking, but it could also be dangerous.

"There may be a safety issue," said a FIFA spokesman. "If for example a player was running through on goal and an opponent grabbed his snood, that could pose a potential danger to his neck." To say nothing of the danger to his reputation as a professional athlete who isn't a complete wimp.

Perhaps 'snood abuse' could become a red-card offence?

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STACKSTOWN Golf Club, founded by visionary Garda Commissioner Edmund Garvey over 30 years ago because gardaí were not being accepted as members in Dublin golf clubs, has voted to bring its civilian membership into the running of the club.

The club has been run solely by gardaí, but they voted overwhelmingly for change last December and, as a result, there will be a major change on the Management Committee, with 50-50 representation between gardaí and civilians.

One of the offices affected by the change is that of club captain. In future, the role will alternate between gardaí and civilians, and current captain, Richie Ryan, has chosen a very popular member to be the first civilian captain. That honour will go to Dermot Gregan, who is perhaps better known as Pádraig Harrington's father-in-law.

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LAST night's Armagh v Dublin league match marked the first broadcast of Gaelic games in High Definition. The game was available to UPC digital customers who will be able to enjoy a minimum of seven other Allianz League games, including Dublin's big football clashes with Cork, Kerry and Down, in the format.

The game also marked the debut as host of Newstalk Off The Ball anchor Eoin McDevitt. High Definition is a great concept of course, almost as good as the real thing.

The real thing, incidentally, is still available to GAA supporters at a remarkable price of €45 for an adult to see Dublin's four home Allianz League football matches, two of which are paired with hurling league games against Tipperary and Kilkenny. Wrap up well and you can imagine you're sitting on your couch at home. That's what we call high definition at a low price.

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As Mick O'Dwyer begins his fifth year as Wicklow manager, still fresh as a daisy at 74, a Waterville interest group are inviting submissions for a life-size permanent sculpture of the great Kerryman.

The purpose of the statue, which will be located alongside the public path on an area known as Mick O'Dwyer Park, is to capture the determination and indomitable spirit of the man, in a manner that will inspire both residents and visitors to the area. Now there is no question as to whether he deserves such a tribute -- his record speaks for itself -- but is it not a bit soon?

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Tonight, for the first time in the 45-year history of the Super Bowl, there will be no cheerleaders.

The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only two teams who reached this year's play-offs who have no cheering squad, although in the past both teams had cheerleaders. Green Bay's squad was known as the Packerettes, Golden Girls, or the Sideliners, they appeared in one-piece swimsuits and high-heeled boots but were disbanded in 1988.

The Pittsburgh's "Steelerettes" were formed in 1961 and wore hard hats, jumpers and below-the-knee skirts but in 1969 team owner Art Rooney sacked them when the lead cheerleader asked him if they could wear something more daring.

Fergus McDonnell and Marie Crowe


Sunday Indo Sport