One of Donegal’s leading referees has branded the decision of the GAA’s Football Review Committee’s (FRC) to introduce a black card for certain offences as nothing short of nonsense and unworkable.
Jimmy White, a former inter-county referee, and a highly respected official both nationally and locally for well over the last decade, feels there is very little wrong with the modern game.
And he insists that there is no need for all the changes and recommendations being proposed by the FRC, and most definitely he is totally against the introduction of a black card, which carries automatic substitution for the offending player.
White was responding to the decision this week of the FRC to introduce a black card for a number of offences. A player receiving a black card will result in the mandatory substitution of that player.
This latest proposal is a change to a recommendation made by the FRC in their original proposals which was released before Christmas.
A statement on the GAA official website states that the new recommendation follows consultation between the FRC, the GAA Rules Advisory Committee, managers, mentors and officials.
In their pre-Christmas recommendations, the FRC had proposed that players committing any of five outlined offences be shown a yellow card followed by automatic substitution.
“It is sheer nonsense and there is no other way to describe the recommendation and it is unworkable. All the offences they have identified are already covered by a yellow card and are dealt with by issuing a yellow card, and quite frankly I don’t see why the need for change,” Jimmy White, told to the Democrat.
“If the existing rules are not being implemented by referees, then that is a refereeing problem and should be dealt with by the referee authorities and the people that oversee refereeing and make the appointments.
“Introducing an additional card to go with the existing yellow and red is not the answer to any problems that may be experienced and will only lead to even more frustration and confusion.
“They talk about greater respect for referees as one of the motivating factors for change. But as far as I’m concerned the introduction of the additional card is going to lead to even further confusion and frustration among players, mentors and supporters and will only lead to further criticism of referees and not less.
“There is very little wrong with the game as I see it at present. The rules and the sanctions are already there to deal with the issues being highlighted by the FRC.
“It is all down to common sense and a matter of the rules being implemented by the referees and introducing a black card is not the answer.”
The five offences identified for punishment by the black card are as follows:
1. To deliberatively pull down an opponent
2. To deliberately trip an opponent with hand, arm or foot
3. To deliberately body collide with an opponent after he has played the ball away or for the purpose of taking him out of the movement of play
4. To use abusive or provocative language or gestures to players
5. To remonstrate in an aggressive manner with a match official.
The present yellow card system will remain in place with players being sent off without replacement on receiving a second yellow card as now pertains.
After a team has received three black cards, any further black cards will mean the player going off with no substitution.
For inter-county competitions a cumulative total of three black cards or three double yellow cards for an individual in any one grade in the same year will lead to a one match suspension, except where this would apply to an All-Ireland final, in which case the one match suspension is carried forward to the next match.
The number of substitutions permitted should be increased from the present five to six, to coincide with the introduction of the proposed change.
The Killybegs official, who saw some merit in the recommendation on the advantage rule, but other than that he saw little merit in any of the other recommendations.
Meanwhile, he was also highly critical of those in charge of refereeing and argued that they are trying to introduce rigid guidelines for referees to follow and were taking the use of common sense out of the game.
The recommendations will go before this year’s GAA Congress and if implemented will come into effect on January 1st, 2014.