Refs’ chief rejects calls for video technology

GAA REFEREES’ chief Mick Curley has rejected calls for the introduction of video technology after another afternoon of controversial calls in Down’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final victory over Kildare.

Mourne County star Benny Coulter admitted he was in the square for the game’s opening goal while Lilywhite officials were furious that an Alan Smith point effort was disallowed in the first half.

However Curley, who agreed that Coulter’s punched effort should not have stood, defended the officials and insisted that television replays were not the way forward for the Association.

The Galway native said: “There can be no dispute that Benny was in the square, and he shouldn’t have been there.

“The umpires were in a good position behind the goals. They were exactly where they should have been, as it seemed that the ball was destined to go over the bar. (Referee) Pat McEnaney was following the play but because Benny was backing in, and the officials’ focus was on the ball, they did not see in the infringement.

“But yes, the goal should not have been allowed.”

However Curley said that the umpires at the other end were correct to rule out Smith’s effort at a point.

“In my opinion the ball was over the post. The ruling is that is has to be inside the post for the score to be deemed a point. I feel that the lads made the correct call there.”

But he added: “But I was watching it on television, and there was nothing conclusive from the replays.

“That proves the point that I have been making for a long time. It was the same late in the second half when Kildare were appealing for a penalty after claiming one of the Down players had touched the ball on the ground.

“The incident was shown a number of times from a variety of different angles and slowed down. But again it was inconclusive. It proves again that the arguments about video technology are not as clear cut as people think.”


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