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Banty fears black card will sanitise GAA

Former Meath and Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney says the new black card rule is an attempt to take the physicality out of the game.

Although he believes it is not as harsh as the original Football Review Committee (FRC) proposal, McEnaney sees it as an attempt to curb one of the most endearing aspects of the game.

His viewpoint is in sharp contrast to that of his older brother and referees chief Pat, who fully supports the new measure.

However, Seamus argues it will sanitise Gaelic football and can’t see the motion being carried at Congress in March.

"I am always a man who is up for change but I was completely against the yellow card system a few years ago because it was taking the physicality out of the game," he said of the 2010 experimental rule, which was ontrial in the National League.

"I still think that is what they’re trying to do now. I accept the black card rule is not as severe as the proposal before Christmas when a yellow card meant an immediate substitution.

"We were all reared with Gaelic games as physical and if you want to play it you have to be physical. If you can’t be that, play another sport.

"In fairness to the group, they have some very good proposals but I would have reservations about anything that wants to take or threatens to take the physicality from Gaelic football.



"It’s the one thing we need to keep at least. To be honest, I’d like to see it a bit more physical than it already is."

McEnaney has a particular bone of contention with managers being forced to use black card substitutes from their quota. Although that number would be extended from five to six under the new rule, he thinks it will make life more difficult for those on the sideline.

"That is too severe. I think you should be allowed to use six substitutes in any which you want regardless of the enforced ones.

"It misses the point of the severity in the first proposal. A fortnight ago, everybody would have believed the (yellow card) proposal was too severe. This aspect of it is still unfair."

However, McEnaney found plenty of worth in other FRC’s recommendations such as the abolishment of the pick-up and the mark between the 45 metre line for kick-outs.



"Getting rid of the pick-up will speed up and improve our game.

"The mark is a good one too. Catching at midfield has gone out of our game the last couple of years and referees have tended to be harder on the man in possession."