Kilkenny boss Brian Cody is fearful GAA chiefs are “trying to take genuine physicality” out of hurling.
Cody, speaking ahead of Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League final against Cork, is worried the manliness of the sport is under threat.
Cody said: “I worry — for some mad reason everybody thinks this is madness — that the physicality of the game is being looked at in a negative way.
“It’s just part and parcel of the game and always has been.
“Apart from these unfortunate cruciate injuries or natural injuries that can happen, there is no dirt in the game at all.
“But in my head I believe that they are trying to take genuine physicality out of the game.
“And I wish they would stop doing that. I’ll be probably pilloried for this and that this is the type of game we want to play as we’re looked on as this massively physical team. I don’t see it that way at all, not in the slightest.”
The legendary manager also has concerns about the pressure on referees to appease assessors first and foremost.
“I just think the referees have to be allowed to use their common sense. To use their interpretation of how the game should be played and the spirit of how the game should be played. They are being assessed out of the woods altogether.
“Referees are going out to do the very best job they can. They are going to make mistakes.
“I make several mistakes with regard to managing the Kilkenny team. The players I pick make mistakes as well, everybody does make honest, genuine mistakes.
“Referees are going to make genuine mistakes but they should be left alone.”
The proof of what he says is in the All-Ireland final, when a referee will call it as he sees it, the assessor no longer a factor, the shackles off.
“Everybody raved about the All-Ireland finals for the past three or four years, about the quality of the games; the referee was a fundamental part of that. Where you could begin to have a problem with the kind of games those were I don’t know.
“But that’s just my opinion, my opinion is right for me, it’s not right for everybody necessarily. I’m not going to start giving out about referees in the slightest but I have always given out about the fact they are assessed left, right and centre and that the league is always refereed differently to the championship.
“Nobody will convince me otherwise.”
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