Kildare man Mick Monahan believes cynicism continues to “destroy” the game despite the introduction of the black card last year.
Because he feels referees find it difficult to ascertain simulation, he says it shouldn’t be left entirely up to them to decide whether a player is faking or augmenting a foul to win a free or have an opponent punished.
A Monday citing panel, he reckons, would be an answer to the malaise.
“The GAA should have a mechanism whereby they can go back and look at a game retrospectively like in rugby, call him (the player) up quickly and say ‘this is the punishment for that’. It can’t just be for an All-Ireland quarter-final, semi-final or final; it has to be in place from the start.
“If any player goes down like that there’s a specific thing where he gets a one match ban, two match ban or whatever. A ref could say a player is feigning but it might be human error on his part. If they had a citing board there’s no way of getting around it. If a guy plays on Sunday and does something he should know by Monday night if he is facing a ban. I also feel counties are condoning this (feigning) and yet must deal with it in club football themselves.”
Monahan is open on what type of ban should be handed down for simulation but says the yellow card doesn’t go far enough. “I thought the black card would have done that but it doesn’t seem to have. What’s happening at the moment is destroying the game. The game has got more cynical. I’m saying they were saints 10, 20 or 30 years ago but it’s become more cynical.
“The black card has helped in certain situations but when you have guys going down and feigning injuries the black card isn’t going to help. All the referee can do at the moment is book a guy. I think referees are loathe to do that because if a guy is hurt it doesn’t look good.
“It’s all well and good saying ‘the referee should do this and that’ but players can make it hard or easy for the referee and at the moment it’s got worse. Ten years ago, we probably thought it was tougher than it was.”
Monahan, who stepped away from inter-county refereeing in January 2007, remembers the 2005 final as an exciting one. “Kerry dominated for the opening 15 minutes but couldn’t get the scores on the board and Tyrone then just got more and more into it.
“There were some good scores, Brian Dooher’s point and Peter Canavan’s goal. I can still see that, (Owen) Mulligan passing the ball and Canavan placing it in the net. I was surprised to see Canavan going off. I thought it was a strange move but then seeing him coming back on lifted the crowd.”