Anthony Nash urges caution over deliberate foul rule

An amendment proposes that fouls “as a ‘rule of thumb” less than 25 metres infield of each side-line would not be considered goalscoring opportunities.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

FORMER CORK GOALKEEPER Anthony Nash says the rule around penalties punishing fouls that deny goal-scoring opportunities needs to be tweaked ahead of annual congress.

The denial of a goalscoring opportunity was punished with a penalty and sin-binning in 2021 and during last weekend’s Allianz League action. Dublin’s Cian O’Callaghan and Sean Brennan were both sin-binned and conceded a penalty during their draw with Waterford on Sunday. 

A vote to retain the rule will take place at this month’s congress. It will include an amendment that proposes fouls “as a ‘rule of thumb” less than 25 metres infield of each side-line would not be considered goalscoring opportunities. 

colum-cunning-shows-a-black-card-to-sean-brennan Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Speaking on the latest episode of The42 GAA Weekly, Nash said that the amendment needs more clarity. 

“They were both fouls. Jeez, I thought O’Callaghan could have been sent off for his two yellows. He went off the ground. He is a very, very physical defender. 

“From the TV angle, it is hard to see if there was there a covering defender inside. I thought the first one there might have been one or two covering defenders, I think that was the argument from Dublin.

“The second time, the keeper came out and said he was outside the exclusion zone. I would’ve been saying the same because I forgot about the rule. 

“My thing, I am a big believer if it is not broken don’t fix it. They are on about bringing in the penalty zone bigger and referee’s rule of thumb. I understand the reason for bringing it in, pulling down fellas, I just think you need to be careful what you do here.

“Because remember, one of the nominations for hurler of the year last year was a corner-back, Sean Finn. The art of his skill is tackling.

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“I’ve spoken to multiple defenders about this since the rule came in, they are afraid to engage the forward because if the forward goes down, it is a penalty from anywhere in that zone.” 

The 2013 player of the year nominee suggested lining the field to clearly identify the zone as a possible solution. 

“I think it will have to happen. If the rule goes ahead, it is a new box, just a different dimension on the field. You have to take that on board as well.”

To listen to the full episode, go to

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