KERRY captain Paul Galvin is facing the threat of a lengthy suspension which would rule him out of Championship action until the All-Ireland final after knocking referee Paddy Russell’s notebook from his hands in a heated exchange during yesterday’s Munster SFC semi-final in Killarney.
Depending on how it’s reported to the Central Competitions Control Committee by the referee, he could possibly be looking at a twelve-week term under the rule relating to ‘minor interference’ with a referee.
Kerry’s woes may not end there on a day when a routine provincial semi-final turned out to be anything but. Declan O’Sullivan was stretchered off with a serious looking knee injury and will have a scan today to determine the damage.
Privately, Kerry officials are seething over the off-the-ball incident involving Galvin and Clare defender John Hayes which provoked the incident with referee, Paddy Russell. Afterwards, Kerry coach Pat O’Shea suggested Galvin was “more sinned against” than anything else. However he accepted on this occasion that the Finuge man may have shown “a bit too much” emotion.
To add to Galvin’s annoyance with what happened, after having remonstrated with the linesman who called the referee’s attention to the first incident, he had a disagreement with vice-captain Tomás Ó Sé as the Gaeltacht man attempted to calm him down. Galvin was seen to push him away and Ó Se reacted in similar fashion.
In the initial incident, Galvin was blocked by Clare wing-back John Hayes as he tried to go by him. There was a bit of jostling and Galvin looked to the linesman for a response. Play continued briefly until the referee was alerted by the linesman, Limerick man Michael Meade, and after consulting with him, Russell called the two players over. He then issued each with a yellow card, a second in Galvin’s case, leading to him being dismissed.
As Russell was carrying out his duty, a clearly upset Galvin knocked his notebook out of his hand to the ground. Then he ran over to the sideline to verbally protest with the linesman before walking away.
Pointing out that they would need to examine the incidents in detail which led up to Galvin’s sending-off, the Kerry boss commented: “Obviously Paul is very frustrated. I think he felt himself that he was sinned against in that situation.
“I have not seen the video, so I’m not sure until we have a look at it. The game of football is all about emotion and he probably showed a little bit too much emotion there. He obviously felt he was sinned against in that incident.
“You want all your players on the field at all times. But you can understand as well that at certain times emotions can get high and obviously if you feel aggrieved, whether it’s a free or a booking or a sending off, at times the natural inclination is to say something.
“I don’t think there was anything meant by it. Obviously he just felt he was sinned against, that was all.”
Meanwhile, O’Shea and his co-selectors will be anxiously awaiting news on the extent of Declan O’Sullivan’s knee injury which forced him off early in the second half. “Again it’s on his knee, so it’s a worry. We’ll have to see what comes back from the x-ray and the scan,’’ he added.
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