GAA chiefs are confident the new cynicism rule in hurling and Gaelic football will address the issue.
A one-year trial of the rule was narrowly backed by delegates in Saturday’s Annual Congress and will see penalty pucks/kicks rewarded and defending players sin-binned should a cynical foul be committed inside the 20-metre line or semi-circle that stops a goalscoring opportunity.
New GAA president Larry McCarthy remarked at Saturday evening’s post-Congress press conference: “I'm delighted it passed. I'm absolutely delighted that it passed. There's cynicism in all sports. The sooner we can clamp down on it, the better. And I think this rule will address that.”
GAA director general Tom Ryan, who raised cynicism in hurling as a matter of concern earlier in the day, was delighted with the robust debate.
“The most important thing from my point of view was the process that applied, and I'm not sure how long we went on with the debate, it was close on an hour. I think it got a good airing, and I think everyone who wanted to speak got a chance to speak on it.
“I'm pleased with the process that it went through, and I'm pleased it was done properly in difficult circumstances. Also, the thing to bear in mind is it's a trial. We shouldn't be afraid to embark upon new things and try new things, and I think it will make a difference.”
McCarthy revealed Offaly chairman Michael Duignan contacted GAA officials to retract his comments about Dublin funding having quoted figures that had been included in the 2020 GAA financial report but were later corrected.
On the subject of equalising funding, the topic raised by Duignan, McCarthy said he philosophically wouldn’t be against it. “But you have to acknowledge where the money is going and the value we're getting out of it. And whether the investments we're making, whether we're going to get a good return on them.”
Ryan admitted the incorporeal nature of Saturday’s Congress was difficult.
“It was tricky. No point in saying otherwise. We tried our best to plan for every eventuality, but even when you do that, little things can crop up that you haven't foreseen, and we're all at the mercy of technology.
“And we're all at the mercy of muting and unmuting ourselves at the right time. I hope we don't have to do another one like it. That's all I'll say. It did go well. But it's complicated and stressful, so I just hope it's the last one we have to do like that.”