FRC’s black card proposal looks certain to fail

The black card proposal for Gaelic football looks all but doomed after a further three counties voted against the Football Review Committee’s (FRC) recommendation.

Waterford, Laois and Donegal have brought the total of counties against the motion to 12 with Clare and Kilkenny also expected to express their opposition to it. Should those two also vote against the black card, the number of delegates prepared to press ‘no’ on their electronic panels in Derry is predicted to exceed the one-third majority needed to defeat the motion.

The 32 counties account for over 75% of the total Congress vote with another approximate 80 votes among former GAA presidents, management committee, overseas board and school/colleges.

In what appears to be a perfect storm involving predominantly hurling counties on one side and the majority of Ulster counties on the other, the measure aimed at curbing cynicism in Gaelic football is set to fail in acquiring the necessary 66.66% majority to be passed into rule.

Interestingly, should Clare vote against the motion, every Munster counties bar Kerry will be opposed to it.

Kilkenny said they won’t make their minds up until they discuss the proposal with other counties. However, it’s understood they are unlikely to back it. What’s more, they are said to be unhappy with FRC chairman Eugene McGee’s criticism of Kilkenny football on Newstalk’s Off The Ball programme on Wednesday.

McGee said: “They can’t put out a team and they had one person at the first minor training session. But that’s their business. The hurling people are very strong in their views — actually stronger in how their game should be run than football.”

The FRC will give a workshop in Derry this afternoon where they will attempt to convince delegates of the merits in voting for their proposals such as the black card.

Waterford club delegates unanimously voted against the black card at Wednesday’s board meeting after little debate where the main concern voiced was how it would impact on games at club level.

Donegal chairman Sean Dunnion explained his county’s reason for opposing it. “We know where the Football Review Committee are coming from and what they are trying to achieve but we felt that it was just too big a change at this time.

“It might work at inter-county level nut it is not on at club level at a time when clubs struggling for numbers. We also felt a third card would only lead to confusion and anxiety among players and supporters.

“We feel there must be a better way of dealing with the problem such as improving the level of consistency in refereeing.”

Meanwhile, Waterford will also say no to the FRC’s clean pick-up motion but are supporting the extension of the penalty for dissent/slowing down play, the advantage rule and the mark. They are also strongly backing the public clock for football championship games but rejected the idea of making all adult club games 70 minutes long.

Laois are in favour of all of the other FRC proposals bar the black card.


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