Existing rule to be used to tackle ‘Nash motion’

A concern about the ‘Anthony Nash motion’ failing to receive the necessary two-thirds majority support was the reason it was removed from the Clár of Congress on Friday.

GAA director general Páraic Duffy confirmed it was taken off the agenda following a discussion at Central Council on Friday evening.

Believing there to be an issue with the manner in which free- and penalty-takers are striking the ball, Duffy said next month’s Central Council meeting is a better platform to provide an interpretation on the relevant existing rule.

“There was a fear the motion wouldn’t get two-thirds [majority] and if it didn’t get two-thirds you couldn’t address the issue at all. If that happened Congress’ hands would have been tied.

“Whereas now we can discuss it at the next Central Council meeting in terms of the rules that are already there.”

However, there are now fears among Cork officials that Central Council will attempt to restrict Nash’s placed ball style.

Although the motion to prevent free and penalty takers from striking the ball before, or where it was won, was withdrawn, there is concern the Cork goalkeeper will be stymied by the current rule. Central Council will on March 22 give an interpretation of rule 4.25, which states to advance the ball deliberately from the place at which a free puck or sideline is to be taken is an offence punishable by the cancellation of the free/sideline and a throw-in where the foul took place.

However, there is no mention of penalties, which had been factored into the playing rules committee’s motion, while the rulebook also reads defending players must be at a minimum 20m away from a free.

Referees may now be instructed to ensure the free-taker doesn’t advance past where the free was awarded. Umpires may also be told to be vigilant about players moving off the goal-line and breaking the 20m distance.

O’Neill insisted it wasn’t unusual for motions to be removed.

“There can be three or four withdrawn and no one takes much notice. We’re going to discuss it at the Central Council meeting and see what opinions are at that stage.”


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