The Problem with GAA Referees is.............

I watched both matches on TV on Sunday 19TH May - Armagh v Cavan and Mayo v Galway.


Apart from the total naivety of Armagh and the clinical display by Mayo the most thought provoking issues in both matches was the performance of the referees. For some unknown reason it is impossible for these men to police similar situations in the same way. I think personality and to an extent ego play a major role in how matches are adjudicated. We can talk all we like about players are cynical and the game has changed etc etc but football matches, especially in the modern era, are policed completely different according to the referee and an individuals perception of a situation. It is impossible for a player to get consistency from referees. Let’s not forget these are the top referees in the country. Spare a thought for every club player in the country, a division 3 match for example in Laois or Clare or any county where the referee is there for a few Euros towards his summer holidays fund.

I thought Deegan was particularly poor in the Armagh v Cavan match, showing no consistency in the rules applied. How you could not play advantage for Jamie Clarke who everyone could see had broken through the would be tackle is quite beyond me, and remember these are the best referees in the country not some 40 something club referee who never leaves the area between the 45’s for the whole match!!

And lets not forget Mr Clarke should not have been on the pitch, to score the perfectly good goal that wasn’t a goal, following a clear punch delivered not 10 feet from the referee in a first half melee. Meanwhile over in Galway, Martin Duffy had no problem dealing with striking. Individually and collectively our top referees must be accountable for poor performances.

The Problem with GAA Referees is.............


The job our referees have to do is a difficult one but these are simple situations in Gaelic Football, with well documented rules and penalties – if our top officials can’t get this right  then there is little chance of getting difficult scenarios correct.


With one eye towards next year and the black card – would the player who fouled Clarke for the perfectly good goal that wasn’t a goal, have got a black card for deliberately pulling an opponent and denying a goal?


YES or NO? and if no – why not?


For more on The Black Death, sorry card, read our further article on GAA CARD LOTTERY – BUREAUCRACY GONE MAD.

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