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Is it time for a video referee to be brought in to help referees in GAA?

Conor McManus reckons it’s time to help the refs.

Tiernan McCann surrounded by Monaghan players last Saturday.
Tiernan McCann surrounded by Monaghan players last Saturday.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE FALLOUT CONTINUES from the acrimonious finale to last Saturday’s clash between Tyrone and Monaghan but one of the key players in that game believes the match proved that referees need more assistance in making decisions.

Referee Marty Duffy brandished a red card towards Monaghan’s Darren Hughes after the ruffled the hair of Tyrone’s Tiernan McCann.

And Monaghan’s star forward Conor McManus believes that match officials need help when it comes to judging contentious incidents and looking at curbing time wasting.

“You can’t see what Marty Duffy saw, but again it goes back to helping the officials out. I’m sure when he watches that back himself that he’ll know that Darren didn’t deserve to get a red card.

“So why not have something in place that can tell Marty Duffy at the time? Look, there is a screen there – I don’t know if it played it or not – but if it did then 80,000 or whatever was inside Croke Park would have all known it wasn’t (a red card). Yet the referee didn’t know.

Conor McManus Conor McManus received the Opel GAA-GPA Player of the Month award yesterday. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“From Tyrone’s point of view, they are no different to anybody else, they want to get a win and will do anything to get a win.

“The referee is there on his own and possibly needs to get more help from the officials around him to deal with that sort of stuff.”

McManus doesn’t believe diving is a widespread problem in Gaelic football.

“I don’t think it is a massive thing within the game. Obviously when something happens in a game where there are 60-70,000 at it and it’s live on television and a large part of the country watching it then there is going to be a reaction.

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“It goes back to the social media end of things, the fact that everybody has had their say on it. It just escalates from there and it is very hard to control that.”

The Monaghan captain is one of the closely-watched forwards in the game given his current prowess but he isn’t complaining either about the extra attention he receives from defenders.

Richie Donnelly, Ronan McNamee and Peter Harte tackle Conor McManus Conor McManus surrounded by Tyrone players last Saturday Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I’m not going to come out and whinge about whether you get frees or don’t. It’s part and parcel of it particularly now when there are so many bodies back and defensive screens.

“You are going to get close attention whether you like it or not but it adds to the challenge. You have to try and over come that.

“Obviously you’d rather be playing one on one with 30 yards of space but with the way the game is gone you don’t get that.

“In a way the screen have taken away from the game as a spectacle but in a way it has added to it because you have to think and play your way out of it.

“So from that point of view it has added to it.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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