Black card is here to stay, says Aogán Ó Fearghail

There is no chance of the black card being ditched from Gaelic football, according to GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail.

Black card is here to stay, says Aogán Ó Fearghail

The Cavan man is aware of the outcry against the disciplinary measure in the wake of the All-Ireland series but doesn’t see any reason to remove it from the game.

“The black card is there, it’s part of our rules. I don’t see any possibility of the black card suddenly being dispensed with because of one or two or even more incidents. It’s part of the playing rules of the GAA.

“The black card is there now, there is an onus on us to make sure whatever rules we have are well implemented. I would accept that with the black card some of the commentary is fair because we do probably need to make sure it is properly implemented. But as regards an abolition of it? No.”

For logistical reasons, Ó Fearghail can’t see the sin bin being introduced as a replacement. “It has definite advantages and could work here on a pitch like Croke Park and Thurles but throughout the Association at that time...

“We spent two years maybe more going through all of this and that is what the GAA arrived at.

“It was found the last time in the research that it was almost impractical to operate at club level around the country. That was one of the major issues. The number of officials. If you have two local clubs operating, the black card is operated by the referee and that’s it. But if he has a sin bin, it’s timing and a lot more challenging.”

Ó Fearghail also believes a TV match official wouldn’t benefit the game.

“You could never say ‘no’ to anything and I couldn’t rule anything out but anything that slows down the movement of our game is not good. I haven’t seen anything that would convince me the TMO would greatly add to it.”

- Aogán Ó Fearghail was speaking at the launch of the GAA’s new Purchase Power initiative, which offers deals on services and products to clubs and counties. For more information, visit www.gaa.ie 

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