Referees chief backs push for HawkEye after Tipp 'ghost goal'

By John Fogarty and Eoghan Cormican

As Alan Kelly returns to action as a linesman in next Saturday’s Kilkenny-Wexford Round 5 Leinster SHC game, GAA referees chief Willie Barrett wants to see HawkEye score detection technology extended to the goal-line.

It has been confirmed the Galway match official will be assisting James McGrath in Nowlan Park, though an official review of his performance on Sunday could have repercussions for him as far as future championship referee appointments are concerned.

Referees development committee chairman Barrett acknowledged a mistake was made in awarding Tipperary a second goal in Sunday’s Munster SHC Round 3 game in the Gaelic Grounds.

In a pre-championship press briefing, Barrett said the use of video technology was “something that will be looked at in the future”.

In the aftermath of the weekend’s controversy, he believes match officials need assistance.

“After yesterday (Sunday), goal-line technology is the thing I would be looking at. We have HawkEye for points in Croke Park and Semple Stadium and, if we could extend that to other venues, along with focusing it on the goal-line too, that’s the way I would be thinking.

I don’t know how feasible it is but everyone accepts it wasn’t a goal and we have to acknowledge that a human error was made.

“You’d be disappointed, of course, that it would be made. A mistake was made and that has to be put on the record.

“For me, goal-line technology is something that should be considered. That’s my immediate reaction.

“Looking at the replays, the way the hurling championship is now, each game is so important in terms of qualifying for the latter stages of the championship and this was a big call.”

Former GAA director general Páraic Duffy was strongly opposed to the use of a video referee and, while his successor Tom Ryan’s views on it are unknown, a more sophisticated version of HawkEye may be more agreeable to Croke Park officials.

Barrett’s predecessor Seán Walsh was supportive of the introduction of a TV match official. Speaking in 2015, he remarked: “What has changed my mind is the definitive nature of HawkEye. If the TMO or some version of it was brought in, I could see it being a great help to referees.”

Goal-line technology not worth the cost

Meanwhile, Waterford chairman Paddy Joe Ryan has said he is not in favour of the GAA introducing goal-line technology.

Ryan was disappointed by referee Kelly’s decision, following consultation with his umpires, to award Tipperary the 62nd-minute goal during Sunday’s fixture at the Gaelic Grounds, a score which was hugely significant in denying Waterford a first victory of the summer.

The Waterford chairman said there was nothing to be gained from lambasting Kelly or his umpires, adding that he wouldn’t like “anyone’s career brought to an end because of a single incident in a Munster championship game”.

Goal-line technology would have prevented Jason Forde’s three-pointer from standing, but Ryan does not want the GAA to go down that road.

"I wouldn’t favour goal-line technology or anything like that,” said the Waterford chief.

“Such video evidence is for big rugby and soccer games. This game in Limerick was played in front of 10,000, this isn’t New Zealand playing South Africa in a rugby international in front of a packed stadium. This is an amateur sport, at the end of the day.

“I don’t believe having all this technology would be worth the huge cost involved. We’d be better off putting the money into developing our facilities and clubs.

“[Goal-line technology] would have gone for us on Sunday, the next day it could go against us. These things tend to level themselves out.”

On the performance of Galway whistler Alan Kelly and his officials, Ryan said: “No official or umpire went out on Sunday to do Waterford. We are disappointed we didn’t get the win and the two points. Things have happened that put teams out of the championship, this [call] didn’t put us out of the championship.

We are disappointed, but I have great sympathy for referees and officials. Referees make mistakes, everybody does. It is nothing more than human error.

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- Irish Examiner


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