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John Allen wants new hurling referees' body

“Hurling and football are very different games,” says the Limerick hurling chief.

On the fence: John Allen.
On the fence: John Allen.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

LIMERICK HURLING CHIEF John Allen says the GAA should set up a separate hurling referees body in the wake of the two controversial sendings off which featured in the Munster championship.

Cork man Allen has a front row seat when Rebels forward Pa Horgan was dismissed in the provincial final against the Treaty at the Gaelic Grounds.

The Leesiders went on to beat Kilkenny in an All-Ireland quarter-final which saw Cats legend Henry Shefflin get the line for two yellow cards.

“Referees are under huge pressure to play to the rules and so on,” Allen said at Croke Park yesterday. “I’d lot of sympathy for Barry Kelly and for James McGrath from the Munster final. You make a decision in real time and people can parse it and analyse it on TV and papers. A lot of the yellow cards are very innocuous fouls.

“It puts a lot of pressure on players and referees if they give yellow card to a player early on. I think there needs to be a separate hurling referees group and forum because hurling and football are very different games. I just feel that’s probably necessary.”

Horgan was available to play against Kilkenny when an appeal was upheld in a Croke Park hearing. Limerick’s Paudie O’Brien had his say, in the Glen Rovers man’s favour.

“The Cork county board as far as I know asked our county board would we do it,” explains Allen. “So we did, we agreed to do it. We just said his going to ground wasn’t as a result of a belt to the back of the head, it was from the sliotar at the front. We wanted to make that clear in case people thought that he was playing for the free, which he wasn’t. Whether it influenced it or not, I don’t know.”

Limerick face Clare in a much-anticipated All-Ireland SHC semi-final later this month.

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