Video referee wouldn’t cure all ills, warns Ryan

Video referee wouldn’t cure all ills, warns Ryan
VAR system

Two county chairmen have expressed doubts about the suitability of a video referee in inter-county Gaelic football and hurling.

Based on the difficulties the Premier League have had with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in its first full season, Waterford’s Paddy Joe Ryan and Wexford chair Derek Kent are lukewarm about backing Limerick’s forthcoming proposal to introduce a TV match official.

Limerick have not yet finalised exactly what they will put forward at annual convention next month although chairman John Cregan has confirmed they will be pursuing the matter after it was claimed their senior hurlers were denied a last-gasp 65 in this year’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny.

After the concession of Tipperary’s ghost goal last year and not being awarded a sideline in their Munster SHC first round game against Clare in May this season, Waterford have enough reason to feel aggrieved by the standard of officiating. Ryan, however, is not convinced about using further technology to assist referees.

“We were hard done by but if somebody was there to look at it you can be sure there won’t be controversy.

“How far do you go with it? What about the games where there is no live TV or as many cameras. No matter what you do it won’t be enough.

“If you keep replaying things you’ll find something. It comes down to inches now for offside in soccer.

“That’s the kind of thing you could be getting into. It’s something you have to consider carefully if you go down that road. You will still be able to find flaws with what the TV official says.

“You look at last weekend and the Liverpool-Man City game and the handball. Even with VAR, it’s hard to get everything spot on. I’m not in support of two referees — one fella might disagree with the other. Some are deadly on steps and some aren’t.

“It’s swings and roundabouts, as far as I see it. You win some, you lose some. I understand where Limerick are coming from but no matter how many people you get to look at it we’ll still be saying this should have happened and that shouldn’t have happened.”

Kent believes inaccurate refereeing decisions are a fact of life and a video referee would complicate matters. “My own personal view is that we only have to look at what they’re doing over in the Premier League at the moment and people are pulling their hair out because of it.

“If a referee makes a mistake, he makes a mistake - move on.

“The GAA is all about controversial decisions and what difference would a video referee be in the Richie Hogan situation - you would say he didn’t deserve to be sent off but the rulebook would say the opposite.

“I don’t think we use the team of officials well enough. They should be in communication and helping each other out all the time. They have to be working on the same page if more of the right decisions are going to be made.”

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