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GAA will 'reserve judgement' before thinking about black card changes

Football Review Committee member Paul Earley advocates “wait and see” approach before making any changes.

Marty Duffy shows Kildare's David Hyland a black card.
Marty Duffy shows Kildare's David Hyland a black card.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

THE GAA WON’T make any changes to the black card rule until after the Championship, Paul Earley said.

Statistics released last week trumpeted a higher scoring average in the league as evidence of the new rule’s success.

But teams have called for clarity about how referees are interpreting fouls before the Championship begins and the stakes are raised.

One obvious loophole is the distinction between a “pull down”, which is a black card offence, and a “pull back” which will only earn the offending player a tick or a yellow card.

“There might be a little bit of a grey area there that’s down to the interpretation,” admitted Earley who sits on the Football Review Committee that brought in the rule.

“To my mind, a deliberate pull down is quite clear. You get your hands around a player and pull him down to the ground.”

Any decision on whether to amend or expand the rule to include more types of foul will have to wait until after the summer, he added.

We need to wait and see what the year and the Championship shows first of all to make those determinations. I think we’ll have to reserve judgement on that.

“I think every one of them barring the pull down is quite clear at the moment.

“Whether it needs to be expanded or not, I’m not so sure.

“One county chairman said to me before Congress, ‘look, ye should have had the pull back as well as the pull down’ and that was a fair comment I think.

“Perhaps in the next couple of years there may be some alterations to it, but I think we have to wait for this year to pan out to make judgement on that.”

 Waterford hurling legend Tony Browne has retired

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Niall Kelly

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